Tag Archives: For Ava

Peter Reynolds and For Ava by Vera Twomey

‘An extraordinary book. Vera’s achievement as a novice author matches her achievement as a novice campaigner.

I’ve worked with people who use cannabis as medicine for 40 years and I thought I was pretty hardened to the tragic and distressing stories but the tears were running down my face as I read this.

I was concerned it might be a rather turgid list of events but far from it, it is a riveting read. It is almost like a thriller, beautifully structured, it grabs you and won’t let you put it down as you have to turn to the next page.

The central message is of the inhumanity of bureaucracy and self-serving politicians who are not interested in an issue unless it can bring them easy and positive media coverage.

They are impotent in the face of lobbying from vested interests such as the pharma industry and the medical establishment and prefer to do nothing rather than risk controversy, even while children suffer needlessly.

A magnificent achievement and SHAME on Simon Harris, Fine Gael and the Irish government.

They will face judgement at the highest level for their inaction, cowardice and feeble conduct.’

Peter Reynolds President of CLEAR (Cannabis Law Reform) on For Ava By Vera Twomey (Mercier Press).

Review. ‘For Ava’. For the Shame of Simon Harris, Fine Gael and the Irish Government (Peter Reynolds)

Previously: Vera Twomey on Broadsheet

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)