Her parents say they had exhausted every medical option currently available. Then, in spring 2013, they tried cannabidiol, or CBD oil, the non-psychoactive element of marijuana.
During the next six months, they saw an improvement in Christy. She had fewer seizures and improved cognitively. She was able to answer more questions, and her responses were quicker.
There weren’t the side effects of other drugs, her parents say. Yet this conservative family, whose relationship with God as Christ’s followers informs how they live their lives, worried about getting caught and what that would do to their other children — Alice, 21, Joe, 19, and Lex, 16 — and to Christy. (These are not the real names of the family members and their last name is not being used in this story because medical marijuana use is not legal in Texas.)
Their supply dried up, and they watched Christy slowly return to being less verbal and having more seizures.
They and other parents like them want medical marijuana to be like any other drug a doctor prescribes. Now, they have found themselves as advocates for a hot-button issue, even though all they really want is to keep their daughter from withdrawing back into herself.
ABOUT THIS STORY
For six months, Statesman videographer Reshma Kirpalani has followed this family’s decision to use medical marijuana to treat their daughter’s epilepsy. They tell their story on the agreement of anonymity.