Four-year-old Chase Walker-Steven has severe epilepsy and quadriplegic cerebral palsy. He can’t walk or talk but the struggle to save the life of this little boy is at the centre of tug of war between traditional and alternative treatments.
Chase feeds through a tube and regularly has intense and severe seizures.
In a Sunday Night investigation Chase’s parents, Jacinda ‘Cini’ Walker and Marc Steven, revealed that after years of putting their faith in traditional medicine they had come to the conclusion their child was getting worse, not better.
“They had him on the wrong foods, he was on the wrong medication,” Cini told reporter Alex Cullen.
Desperate to give their little boy his best chance of survival, the Brisbane couple went in search of an alternative treatment and turned to the controversial Church of Ubuntu in Newcastle.
Following the advice of charismatic church leader, BJ Futter, Chase was put on an organic diet and given doses of cannabis oil.
The Church also put Cini and Marc in contact with its controversial consultant; deregistered doctor Andrew Katelaris – known as ‘Dr Pot’.
Dr Pot also suggested giving Chase cannabis oil that contains psychoactive ingredient THC at least four times a day.
Cini and Marc claim they immediately saw an improvement in their son.
“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 traumatized,” Dr Pot claimed.
But a month ago, during a routine medical examination at the Lady Cilento Hospital in Brisbane, doctors advised Cini and Marc that they needed to admit Chase for urgent medical treatment.
They were alarmed at Chase’s dramatic weight loss. In a matter of months he had gone from 22 kilograms to just over 11 after switching to an all-organic diet.
Instead of admitting their son to hospital, Cini and Marc packed up the family and drove 800 kilometres south to Newcastle to the Church of Ubuntu.
Chase’s life expectancy is unknown, but Marc and Cini believe they’re doing the best they can to ensure he has the longest and most fulfilling 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,” Cini said.
“We’ve seen the worst of Chase, you know, to see him now it’s completely different.”