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Documentary Follows Gogglebox Couple's Battle To Treat Chronically Ill Son With Cannabis

Documentary Follows Gogglebox Couple's Battle To Treat Chronically Ill Son With Cannabis

Steph and Dom Parker are known for their lighthearted, champagne-induced outlook on the world, which has left Gogglebox viewers in stitches down the years.

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But a new documentary focusing on the couple is likely to have viewers reaching for the tissues for an entirely different reason.

The Parkers' 18-year-old son Max suffers from severe epilepsy and has more than 100 seizures a day. He has had the condition since he was four years old, and it hasn't improved.

Max requires 24-hour care, and Steph and Dom live in constant fear he may suffer from an extreme seizure from which he never wakes up, known as Sudden Unexplained Death In Epilepsy (SUDEP).

The documentary follows the family as they explore whether cannabis could help with Max's treatment.

Steph and Dom hope cannabis could help their son Max, who has severe epilepsy. Credit: Channel 4
Steph and Dom hope cannabis could help their son Max, who has severe epilepsy. Credit: Channel 4
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Speaking to the Daily Mail, Steph, 52, said: "I want to make this clear straightaway, this is not a scientific documentary, it is a personal film.

"We just wanted to explore the issues, talk to people and collect anecdotal information.

"That is what you do if you are the parent of a chronically ill child. You are not online at midnight shopping on Zara, you are online at midnight doing this kind of thing.

"People say to us: 'Are you going to give your child cannabis?' No, we are not!

"Medicinal cannabis is produced in laboratories and all the psychotics and hallucinogens, anything that some might regard as the fun stuff that gets you high, all that has been taken out."

Dom added that the couple weren't expecting Max - who also has autism and a mental age of six - to be cured, rather they simply hoped for a reduction in the number of seizures.

He said: "I would just love to have a conversation with him.

"Put it this way, he is unlikely to suddenly pop up and say to me, 'By the way, dad, remember on my 12th birthday I said no to cake and you gave me cake and I didn't want it?' No, we don't expect anything like that."

The hour-long programme follows the Parkers as they travel across the UK and to the US to meet other families who have been prescribed cannabis oil.

Channel 4 Commissioning Editor Education, Emily Jones, described the documentary as 'hugely personal'.

She said: "This is an emotional and very timely story that echoes the real-life dilemma faced by many families in the UK, and we're grateful to Steph and Dom for being brave enough to share their hugely personal experience."

Steph & Dom: Can Cannabis Save Our Son? airs on Channel 4 at 9pm next Monday.

Featured Image Credit: Channel 4

Topics: News, Science, uk news, TV and Film, Interesting, UK Entertainment, Health

Jake Massey

Jake Massey is a journalist at LADbible. He graduated from Newcastle University, where he learnt a bit about media and a lot about living without heating. After spending a few years in Australia and New Zealand, Jake secured a role at an obscure radio station in Norwich, inadvertently becoming a real-life Alan Partridge in the process. From there, Jake became a reporter at the Eastern Daily Press. Jake enjoys playing football, listening to music and writing about himself in the third person.

 

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