ACTON - The family of an Acton toddler who suffered from constant life-threatening seizures has moved to Colorado so that she can be treated with a special strain of marijuana that has helped to reduce that seizure rate by more than 90 percent.
Nineteen-month-old Addelyn Patrick suffers from optic nerve hyploplasia, which hinders development of the body’s nervous system resulting in epileptic seizures that threaten her life each and every time they occur.
On St. Patrick’s Day, Meagan Patrick left Acton for good and took up residence in Colorado Springs where Addelyn, nicknamed Addy, can be treated with the special strain of marijuana known as Charlotte’s Web.
“It began helping her right away,” her father, Ken Patrick, said this week. He has stayed behind to try to sell their Acton home.
It was in January 2013 that Addy was first diagnosed with the condition, which led to her having seizures beginning last May.
She was treated with three powerful anti-seizure drugs that had dangerous side effects like more vision loss as well as possible harm to her liver and kidneys before the Patricks took up residence in a rented home in Colorado Springs.
|Ken and Meagan Patrick with their children Addy, left, and 4-year-old Colin.|
Meagan Patrick, who grew up on Bigelow Road in Lebanon (her maiden name is Sinclair), has been fighting for changes in the law that would allow Addy to receive the special pot strain in Maine.
Charlotte’s Web has been shown to have miraculously curative powers in children suffering from such seizures.
Ken Patrick said Addy use to have as many as 50 seizures a day. Now she’s down to as little as three.
“It has helped dramatically, and made her happier,” he said earlier this week.
An hourlong video by CNN medical correspondent Dr. Sonjay Gupta details the seizure-fighting effectiveness of this special strain of medical weed, which is low in THC, the ingredient that makes people “stoned,” but high in pot’s other main ingredient, CBD, widely recognized as an anti-seizure substance.
In a study recently completed on the Charlotte’s Web marijuana, 85 percent of the children given the special pot saw their seizures reduced by more than 50 percent.
No pharmaceutical has those types of results, Meagan Patrick has said, especially with no side effects.
Addy’s former pharmaceutical drugs like Sabril and Keppra made her sleep 18 hours a day due to their debilitating side effects.
So much sleep hurt Addy developmentally as well.
It is legal to smoke marijuana in Colorado, and legal to use Charlotte’s Web as a curative agent, even by children. Of course, doctors, including one contracted by the state, have to sign off on its use in juveniles.
But outside of Colorado Charlotte’s Web is not available. The federal government still classifies marijuana as a Schedule I drug, with the likes of heroin and cocaine. The feds are in effect looking the other way with states that have legalized pot like Colorado and soon-to-follow Washington state, but if you take it across state lines, you risk prosecution and imprisonment.
That meant the Patricks couldn’t even take it to Massachusetts General Hospital, where Addy was frequently treated for her condition prior to her move.
Charlotte’s Web is applied in a tincture form, most often under the tongue, and is neither smoked nor ingested.
The parents of some 300 children nationwide are seeking the same type of marijuana to help them.
Meanwhile, while Maine has made medical marijuana usage and access much easier, it will likely be years before pot researchers can isolate a strain like Charlotte’s Web here, especially since no clippings of the curative pot strain can be legally shipped out of Colorado, she said.
Ken Patrick, who works as a mechanic for the town of Somersworth, N.H., recently underwent a surgical procedure and is recuperating in Acton, while he continues to try and sell their house. He will travel next week to be with his wife and children and continue his recuperation there. When he is well he will return to his job in Somersworth and stay in Acton until he sells the house and can secure employment in Colorado.
Meagan Patrick, meanwhile, is on sabbatical as a third-grade teacher in Sanford.
Ken Patrick said if laws allow Addy to obtain Charlotte’s Web in Maine, the family would definitely consider moving back.
For more info on Addy’s condition and progress visit her Facebook page athttps://www.facebook.com/groups/622372994486936/
If you want to contribute to the cause visit http://www.gofundme.com/HopeForAddy.
To view the remarkable video by Dr. Sanjay Gupta go to http://youtu.be/Z3IMfIQ_K6U.