Category: Medical Marijuana
| Posted on Mon, May, 12th 2014 by THCFinder
RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -
Some Virginia parents are making the heartbreaking decision to split up the family, so their sick child can get access to medical marijuana.
It may sound unorthodox, but these families say they are desperate and it's the only treatment making a difference.
Three little Virginia girls, Haley, Jennifer, and Lucy, share three different stories of families in the fight of their life. Haley is a curious 13-year-old, who shakes uncontrollably through the night. She had more than 800 major seizures last year alone.
"I'll get compliments, or when we go out in public they'll think, 'well you keep her nice' or 'she seems so happy.' Well, it's like, 'You don't see her in this state,'" said Lisa Smith, Haley's mother.
The Smith family lives in the Northern Neck. Haley started having seizures at 5-months-old. She has Dravet syndrome, a severe form of epilepsy with no clear treatment. Haley functions at the level of a 3 to 5-year-old. She's been through 21 different medications.
"These are life threatening seizures and one day one of them will take her life," said Smith.
Jennifer Collins, 14, has a different form of epilepsy, and she's been through 13 different drugs. Some of them aren't even approved by the Food and Drug Administration.
"We have no other options in terms of existing medications. One of them she's on now is clearly experimental," said Jennifer's father, Patrick Collins.
The side effects of her pharmaceutical drugs leave her fighting, "depression, suicidal thoughts, waking cognitive issues, anger, hair loss," said her mother, Beth Collins.
These symptoms from legally prescribed medication can be just as bad as her 300 seizures each day. She was falling behind in school.
"She's going to go one of two ways," her father said. "If we stick with where we are now, she'll never be the person that she could be."
The Collins' made the painful decision to split up the family. Patrick and his other daughter stayed behind in Fairfax. Beth and Jennifer moved 1,700 miles away to Colorado, where medical marijuana is legal.
"It was terrible. It was terrible," Patrick said, choking back tears.