A Mother’s Love


From top: For Ava, by Vera Twomey, published by Mercier Press; Garret O’Callaghan

Free Thursday?

At Eason’s on Patrick Street in Cork city, from 6pm.

Former radio and TV presenter Gareth O’Callaghan will launch For Ava – a book by Vera Twomey about her daughter Ava, who lives with Dravet Syndrome, and their fight to obtain medicinal cannabis in Ireland.

Ahead of the launch, Gareth writes:

….I first heard of Vera Twomey in early 2016 when she spoke on a radio chat show about her daughter’s chronic illness and how, despite repeated efforts to get her the medication she desperately needed to help Ava stay alive, the doors of power and authority continued to slam in her face.

But Vera refused to give up.

Her beautiful book, For Ava, has just been published and it’s in all of your favourite bookshops around Ireland right now.

If they tell you they don’t have it in stock, ask them to order it for you. You can go online and order of from a variety of websites including Eason.

Vera has paved the way for so many who will benefit from her heroic struggle. Her point-blank refusal to shut up and go away, like so many others would do and have done, has meant that her daughter is now seizure free and attending school each day, and engaging in many other activities that any nine-year old child would regard as normal.

Her book is filled with stories that will make you laugh and cry. The background to her story is also an accurate reflection of the daily struggles that so many of the frontline staff within the HSE have to endure: paramedics, junior doctors, nurses, and carers.

On one particular night, an ambulance had to be dispatched from Kilkenny in order that Ava could be taken to hospital in Cork following one of her worst seizures ever. That’s a 140-mile journey that took the paramedics almost three hours!

This is a book about a mother’s love and devotion to her daughter, and it’s also a book about a small child’s terrible illness and her family’s fight for medical justice.

It is beautifully written with tenderness and compassion, but the warmhearted anecdotes are never far from the ruthless, innate determination of one woman who refused to go away and accept that the health and wellbeing of her daughter Ava would or could ever be silenced by those in the corridors of power.

If there was only one book I would recommend you to buy this year, it would be this one; and if you happen to be passing Eason’s in Patrick Street in Cork this coming Thursday evening around 6.15pm, please drop in and say hello.

It will be my honour to launch this epic book, and to introduce Vera Twomey.

Cork Book Launch For Ava by Vera Twomey With Guest Gareth O’Callaghan (Eventbrite)

For Ava (Mercier Press)

9 thoughts on “A Mother’s Love

  1. eoin

    Looking forward to it, if only to get the long-form on that time she met Leo when she was being given an award…

  2. Joe Small

    I have huge sympathy with that family. They have been badly treated. However, I think I lot of people who want to get legally stoned for their own amusement use hard cases like this to push their own agenda.

      1. Johnny Green

        -reasonable and responsible advocates for making Ireland “GREEN” refrain from taking patients hostage to further ‘agendas’-legal weed both rec and med will be widely available in Ireland within 3-5 years.The decisions are NOT whether to legalize it,the science is settled -but do you want participate in this 100 Billion brand new EU market. Patients and smokers will be buying legal weed all across the EU in next couple years,dealers also and Ireland will have EU ‘legal’ weed you just won’t have any the jobs, inward investment or revenue that goes with it….

        Ps-book looks great best luck Ava and Vera

        1. Joe Small

          The science is settled that smoking weed for recreation purposes is fine? Is that what you mean?

          I don’t buy the economic arguments – the same can be made for cocaine and heroin if their respective plants were suited to the Irish climate.

          1. Johnny Green

            -its 2019 I refrain from arguing/engaging with people stuck in the last century, prohibition failed, the war is over, got on with participating in this brand new industry.
            -this is a post about a mothers love for her daughter do you really need soil it with your outdated nonsense.

          2. Joe Small

            I don’t think evidence of mental illnesses from prolonged use of weed far stronger than that used a generation ago is an “outdated” argument. I don’t think the links between current dealers of weed and organized crime is an “outdated” argument. I’m not against decriminatisation and perhaps legalization per se but I am against being railroaded into a decision by people suggesting no further discussion can take place.
            If you want to talk about soiling “a post about a mothers love for her daughter”, you were the one bringing up “this 100 Billion brand new EU market” and “the jobs, inward investment or revenue that goes with it”.

          3. postmanpat

            Why not? effectively no further discussion takes place when it come to alcohol which has always been legal and yet has been proven to be orders of magnitude more destructive than most other drugs, including weed. What is worse? a young person gets into a €50 a month weed habit and cuts down on pub drinking Vs being a goody two shoes non law breaking citizen that blows 60 or 80 quid every weekend on pints , jagerbombs, smokes and all the gut, liver, brain, lung and central nervous system damage that goes along with mid to late 20’s binge drinking? I know people who never experimented in weed or yolks and are still in the “few pints” down the pub at least twice a week mindset, and they are all starting to look like James Corden despite some of them being skinny rakes only few years before.

  3. PAPA

    +1 Johnny Green. Your work on the sheet is brilliant. I’d like to think 3-5 months for legalisation though.

    Vera has an amazing story that is an inspiration to anyone who ever stood for anything, because it was the proper thing to do.
    Inspiring read.

    I’d like to take this opportunity to recommend ‘For Ava’ to Broadsheet ‘Non Irish Fiction’ reading list

Comments are closed.