COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — For most of her life, 6-year-old Charlotte Figi has suffered from 20 to 60 seizures a day due to an incurable genetic disorder called Dravet Syndrome. After the use of medical marijuana, Charlotte has shown dramatic improvement
A lengthy feature in an edition of this week’s Colorado Springs Gazette chronicles the youngster’s difficult journey
Charlotte’s parents, Paige and Matt Figi, said the daily seizures made it impossible for Charlotte to have any kind of normal existence. The family had tried a number of remedies, like a special diet and dozens of prescribed medications, to combat the seizures. But each treatment exhibited negative side effects.
While the diet appeared to ameliorate the seizures at first, the strict food restrictions prompted bone loss, plunging Charlotte into a preliminary stage of osteoporosis. She also suffered from respiratory, ear and bladder infections. The drugs put stress on her organs and some of the medications caused her to stop breathing.
Paige and Matt said they had reached a stage of desperation. When the suggestion came to try a less conventional approach to their daughter’s disease, both were willing to overlook the controversial implications of a 6-year-old using medicinal marijuana.
Because little research on medicinal marijuana usage for children existed at the time, finding doctors to treat Charlotte presented a challenge. But Paige persisted. Eventually, she found two doctors, Dr. Margaret Gedde and Dr. Alan Shackelford, to sign for a medicinal marijuana license and treat Charlotte.Related: