Cannabis reduces the amount of seizures a little girl has chronically dealt with her entire life since she was 10 months old according to her parents. They simply purchased a low THC oil from Colorado and gave it to their daughter without it being recommended by her doctors. Her name is Sophie and she has Dravet Syndrome, Epilepsy and chronic lung disease.
The medical profession is in a very challenging position because of the legal restrictions on cannabis. Little research has been done to verify the medical value of marijuana. Really, only the stories like this one are evidence of its medical benefits besides some small amounts of research that has not been enough to be conclusive. Do you believe that doctors mostly avoid suggesting medical marijuana to patients because of the legal liability, or do you think that they generally believe that it does not have medical value?
Even on a good day, eight-year-old Sophie Martin has hundreds of seizures.
When she has a severe seizure, she turns blue and cannot breathe.
She has been in and out of hospital since she was 10 weeks’ old.
And there have been close to 100 admissions to intensive care.
Every day her parents, Shellie and David, move mountains to try to give her some quality of life.
Their lounge room is like a miniature hospital, complete with resuscitation trolley.
Even the simplest of tasks, like going outside, are a mission — they have to go armed with a paramedic bag.
The decision makers, say the Martins, have “zero idea of what it is like to have a child this sick”.
They are talking about medicinal cannabis.
The couple are speaking out for the first time about their illicit use of the drug.
In March, after a big decline in Sophie’s condition and yet another harrowing stint in hospital, the Martins told doctors that they had made a decision.
“I said to the doctors, I’m just doing this now on the record,” Shellie Martin told 7.30.
“Because we have no more options.”
The Martins decided to order a low THC cannabis oil on the internet from a company based in Colorado in the US after watching the progress, years earlier, of a young girl with the same incurable condition, Dravet Syndrome.
“She went from being — I don’t want to use the word vegetable, but on some days that’s what they are, they can’t do a thing — to being active and being productive,” Mrs Martin said.
“And I just went, I need that for my little girl.”
The couple do not think it is a miracle cure.
But, they do believe that the tiny dose they give Sophie somehow eases her symptoms.
As well as Dravet Syndrome, Sophie has cerebral palsy and chronic lung disease.
“Since using the cannabis oil, Sophie went 16 weeks without a status epilepticus event,” Ms Martin said. (Defined as a seizure that lasts more than five minutes.)
“Previous to us starting that oil, she was having these events every two to four weeks.
“We still need pharmaceutical medications but I absolutely, 100 per cent, believe that it is making a difference for my daughter.”
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