Unlike other healthy four-year-olds, little Chase Walker-Steven is unable to walk or talk.
Suffering from severe epilepsy and quadriplegic cerebral palsy, Chase has regular seizures and must be fed through a tube.
His parents, Jacinda ‘Cini’ Walker and Marc Steven, made national headlines after they renounced traditional medicine in favour of alternative treatments for their son.
Speaking to Sunday Night in an exclusive interview, the couple explained how they turned to the controversial Church of Ubuntu in Newcastle for treatment options. At the church,Cini and Marc were advised to put Chase on an organic diet and treat him with doses of cannabis oil.
“I just instantly see him change,” Cini said about the controversial treatment. “You see him start looking like he can concentrate his eyes.”
At the church, the parents were put in touch with deregistered doctor, Andrew Katelarism, who goes by the nickname “Dr Pot”. Katelaris administered cannabis oil to Chase up to four times a day.
“He certainly seems a lot more responsive in the last few days and a lot less traumatised,” Mr Katelaris told Sunday Night.
But the parent’s unorthodox treatment methods have been condemned by many doctors. During an examination at the Lady Cilento Hospital in Brisbane a month ago, professionals were alarmed by Chase’s dramatic weight loss. The little boy had fallen from 22kgs to 11kgs.
At the end of April, Marc and Cini took their son from hospital after he was admitted against their will.
But the parents insist their treatment plan is giving Chase the best chance he has at survival.
“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 explained. “We’ve seen the worst of Chase, you know, to see him now it’s completely different.”
This article first published on Marie Claire.