Marijuana Saved Her Life. This Could Change Everything
April 28, 2014
Charlotte Figi had her first seizure when she was 3 months old. Over the next few months, the girl, affectionately called Charlie, had frequent seizures lasting two to four hours, and she was hospitalized repeatedly.
By the time she was 3, Charlotte was having up to 300 grand mal seizures every week. Eventually she lost the ability to walk, talk and eat.
The seizures were so severe Charlotte's heart stopped a number of times. Doctors suggested putting the child in a medically induced coma to give her small, battered body a rest.
Her father, Matt Figi, found a similar case online in which medical marijuana helped a boy's seizures. The family decided to give it a try.
The Figi family soon heard about the Stanley brothers, one of Colorado's largest marijuana growers and dispensary owners. These six brothers were crossbreeding a strain of marijuana low in THC, the compound in marijuana that's psychoactive, and high in CBD, which has medicinal properties but no psychoactivity.
The brothers started the Realm of Caring Foundation, a nonprofit organization that provides cannabis to adults and children suffering from a host of diseases. Here Josh Stanley, right, gives CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta a tour.
The first time Paige Figi gave her daughter, Charlotte, cannabis oil, the child's seizures stopped for seven days.
The marijuana strain Charlotte and 41 other people use to help their symptoms has been named after her. It's called Charlotte's Web.
Today, Charlotte is thriving. Her seizures are down to 2 to 3 per month, almost solely in her sleep. She is walking, can feed herself and is talking more and more each day, her parents say.
"I literally see Charlotte's brain making connections that haven't been made in years," Matt Figi said of his daughter. "I want other people, other parents, to know that this is a viable option."
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