How Marijuana Saved a Child’s Life

Charlottes Web
Image via CNN

Marijuana is illegal under federal law; however, many scientists, doctors, and enthused citizens think that this cannabis plant has highly beneficial medicinal purposes. But no matter on which side of the grassy field you personally lie, this story will bring you happiness as a parent, because it means there is hope out there for children with extreme cases of severe seizures.

When Colorado voters approved Amendment 20 almost 13 years ago (requiring the state to arrange a registry program for medical marijuana), Paige Figi voted against its use, and had done so consistently. But this was before she became a mother to Charlotte, who was born on October 18, 2006, and weighed a healthy 7 pounds, 12 ounces.

My thought now is, why were we the ones that had to go out and find this cure? This natural cure?

Charlotte was only three months old when she suffered her first seizure, which lasted about 30 minutes.

And then she suffered another. And another, and another … And by the time she was two years old, she was “slipping away,” declining cognitively, and experiencing numerous seizures that lasted two to four hours.

Charlotte was on seven different drugs – “some of them heavy-duty, addictive ones such as barbiturates and benzodiazepines” – and constantly in the hospital.

According to this CNN article, Paige and Matt Figi’s daughter was finally diagnosed with “Dravet Syndrome, also known as myoclonic epilepsy of infancy or SMEI. Dravet Syndrome is a rare, severe form of intractable epilepsy. Intractable means the seizures are not controlled by medication. The first seizures with Dravet Syndrome usually start before the age of 1. In the second year, other seizures take hold: myoclonus, or involuntary, muscle spasms and status epilepticus, seizures that last more than 30 minutes or come in clusters, one after the other.”

The medicines weren’t working, and doctors were suggesting a medically induced coma, just to give the little girl’s body a break. The weary parents searched everywhere, and talked to numerous experts. “Everything had been tried — except cannabis.”

After learning about a California boy whose seizures were successfully treated with cannabis, they talked to new doctors and began the process of getting their daughter a medical marijuana card. At this point, their daughter was no longer talking, walking, nor eating; and she “was having 300 grand mal seizures a week.”

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Many doctors turned them away because the effect of marijuana usage in very young children looked pretty sketchy, but no more so than the effects of the current legal drugs their daughter was already taking.

“Everyone said no, no, no, no, no, and I kept calling and calling,” Paige said, according to the article. But finally, Dr. Margaret Gedde met with the family and agreed to give it a shot.

The results? To put it plainly, this form of treatment worked.

“Gedde found three to four milligrams of oil per pound of the girl's body weight stopped the seizures … Today, Charlotte, 6, is thriving. Her seizures only happen two to three times per month, almost solely in her sleep. Not only is she walking, she can ride her bicycle. She feeds herself and is talking more and more each day.”

“I literally see Charlotte's brain making connections that haven't been made in years,” Matt says in the article. “My thought now is, why were we the ones that had to go out and find this cure? This natural cure? How come a doctor didn't know about this? How come they didn't make me aware of this?”

The strain of marijuana that Charlotte takes is now called “Charlotte’s Web.”

MORE:  5 Tips for Caring for a Seriously Ill Child }

Whether you agree or disagree with the legalization of medical marijuana, you cannot argue the relief and improvement that Charlotte’s Web provided for this family.

As a parent, would you turn to marijuana if it was the only thing that could possibly save and improve your child’s future?

I know my answer. What's yours?

What do you think?

How Marijuana Saved a Child’s Life

Kimberly Shannon is a wife, a mother, an editor, a writer ... She is always working to find the perfect balance¹! After Kimberly received her bachelor’s degree in Journalism, she worked on two master’s degree programs (Creative Writing, and Marriage and Family Therapy). At various times in her life she has signed up to study Naturopathy, only to back out at the last minute, and humored the idea of returning full-time to the world of dance. Kimberly has also started 10 different children ... More

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5 comments

  1. Tina says:

    This is a crazy story. This family has gone through a lot. I could not image how I would feel if my son was going through this. Hoping he is born healthy as can be. I’m happy to hear that the little girl is doing better and who knows maybe in time the seizures will go away entirely that would be amazing.

  2. nichole says:

    ive read many storys of it helping people medically. i dont see why people still seem to say it has no possibility of helping people. no drug helps every person who takes it. thats why theres many types of drugs for each issue, because what works for me, may not work for you. its natural, been used for soooo many things, including medicinal, years before science helped advance medicine so much, and it shouldnt be ignored. if a person doesnt believe in using it, it should be their choice, and affect them only. it shouldnt stop others who want to try it and may find relieve from it. it should be examined as a natural cure for things and made avail to those who want to try it, with out all of the hassels, and legal issues

  3. Denise says:

    That amount of oil would not get her high, Just the relief. Hmmm the DEA says there no medical value in cannabis and i read a story like this, makes me second guess

  4. Khou says:

    Why vote against it? It is natural and if it works, go for it. I am sure that it is not as bad as other narcotic medication that is out there.

  5. Phammom says:

    If nothing else is working what can it hurt?

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