A DESPERATE couple accused of snatching their severely disabled four-year-old son from a Queensland Hospital last month are living in a controversial church, where the youngster is being given cannabis oil by a deregistered doctor.
Cini Walker and Marc Steven made national headlines when they were accused of taking little Chase Walker from hospital where he was being treated for spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy.
Ms Walker and Mr Steven stopped vaccinating their son after the age of two, believing the injections were causing him seizures.
The parents advocate the use of medicinal marijuana and an organic diet, which they say has vastly improved his condition and reduced his epileptic seizures.
However, Chase has continually been admitted to hospital, with doctors often citing malnutrition.
Ms Walker claims the hospital food and western medicine has had an adverse impact on her son’s health.
The parents told the Seven Network’s Sunday Night they recently began living at Newcastle’s Church of Ubuntu, where they had been regular visitors, and where Chase was now being treated with cannabis oil.
Sunday Night reported the charismatic church leader, BJ Futter, put Chase on an organic diet and was given doses of cannabis oil. The little boy is being treated by Andrew Katelaris, a deregistered doctor nicknamed “Dr Pot”, who gives the boy cannabis oil through his feeding tube and through his mouth up to four times a day.
Ms Walker and Mr Steven said they saw a dramatic improvement in their son — in contrast to traditional medicine which they felt was making him worse.
“I just instantly see him change. You see him start looking like he can concentrate his eyes,” Cini said.
“He certainly seems a lot more responsive in the last few days and a lot less traumatised,” Mr Katelaris told Sunday Night.
Mr Katelaris worked as a surgeon on Sydney’s north shore until 2005 when he was struck off the medical register for supplying cannabis to friends and relatives, Fairfax reported.
In an interview with the Sydney Morning Herald, he said he would continue to treat patients with cannabis oil — even though they suffered serious complications.
He vowed to continue to give cannabis to his patients despite by being banned by the Health Care Complaints Commission, saying he answers to “a higher authority”.
Asked by Sunday Night about being labelled “Dr Pot”, he said: “I’m proud of what I do … it’s only a name.”
He was challenged on giving doses of THC in cannabis oil — essentially making the child “high”.
“Sex can make you high, coffee can make you high, lots of people can make you high, whatever that may mean. I find it a meaningless term and one that doesn’t contribute anything to the debate.
In relation to Chase, Ms Walker insisted they were doing the best for their son and just wanted to make sure he had the best — and longest — life possible.
“That’s why we’re not turning back, there’s no way I’m going to go backwards. It’s why we’ll keep fighting because we don’t care what other people think and they think we’re wrong,” she said.
“We’ve seen the worst of Chase, you know, to see him now it’s completely different.”
Mr Steven said even though cannabis was an “illicit drugs” they had researched what other children’s responses to it had been.
However, Professor Roy Beran, a neurologist at the University of New South Wales, told the program he could see the bones sticking out of Chase.
“The muscles are wasted … It’s just a sad, tragic case. It gets me [that] it really looks as though if he’s just come out of a concentration camp.”
An amber alert was issued by Queensland Police on April 28, the day after the couple took their son from Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital in Brisbane.
He was found soon after and taken to John Hunter Hospital in Newcastle.
On May 5, Ms Walker posted on her Facebook page that her son was “healthy and happy, living life, alert and awake, thanks to my medicinal cannabis and my healthy organic diet.”
Four days later, Ms Walker rejected the tag “anti-vaxxer”, saying she had only chosen to stop vaccinating her son because that what she and Mr Steven had decided was best for his health.
“MY FAMILY ARE NOT anti vaxxer WE ARE PRO CHOICE,” she wrote.
“I am pro choice to save my son’s life and not to put toxins in his body that are going to CAUSE him to SEIZURE and DIE!
“Do your own research before you listen like a sheep!
“VACCINATIONS ARE UNAVOIDABLY UNSAFE!
A statement from New South Wales police on Monday said there was no “current investigation” in relation to Chase being given cannabis oil.
Source: 420Intel – Medical Cannabis