Colorado Family Says Cannabis Oil Helps Child Suffering From Epi - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

Colorado Family Says Cannabis Oil Helps Child Suffering From Epilepsy

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DENVER, Col. -- How far would you go to help your kids from suffering? A New Jersey family picked up and moved half way across the country for easy access to marijuana for their 3-year-old daughter.

It's a controversial decision, and some argue that giving marijuana to children is just too risky. However, this family says it's turned their lives around.

FOX 29's Chris O'Connell traveled to Colorado and has their story.

A little fussy with her food, Vivian Wilson is like most 3-year-olds at the dinner table, with one small exception: She takes cannabis-infused olive oil, which is medicine made from a marijuana plant.

"This is Vivian's primary cannabis medicine. It's a strain called Charlotte's Web," said her mother, Meg Wilson.

Vivian gets two syringes, thee times every day.

"Vivian has a form of epilepsy called Dravet syndrome. It's a very severe form of epilepsy that does not respond well to pharmaceuticals,” said her mother.

Soon after she was born, Vivian started getting epileptic seizures, some lasting for an hour or more.

"Vivian is really sensitive to lights and textures," said Meg. "Vivian always had an eye patch on, from the time she woke up, from the time she went to bed at night."

The pain was overwhelming with a lot of tests, doctors and heavy narcotics. Nothing seemed to ease her pain, and her seizures were getting more severe.

"We found out very quickly in Vivian's life that the pharmaceuticals were failing her and we needed a plan B,” said Meg.

"So many pictures we look at her from the past, she's just a sad-faced kid,” said father, Brian Wilson. "We can't go anywhere, we can't do anything. We were trapped in the house."

The family from Scotch Plains, N.J., heard from a friend that cannabis oil was proven effective in treating kids with Vivian's condition.

Desperate for relief for her daughter, Vivian's mom -- who works for a major pharmaceutical company -- gave cannabis a try.

"Before cannabis, Vivian had tried seven or eight pharmaceutical meds and, in my book, failed them all. She continued to seize, had no quality of life, could not leave the house in my eyes it's a failure"

Brian Wilson made national news after confronting New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, urging him to ease the state's rules on medical marijuana for kids. He told Christie, "Don't let my daughter die."

Christie ended up signing the bill, and Vivian was finally able to get a New Jersey medical marijuana card. She's the youngest in the state to have one. But because growers were still months away from producing cannabis oil, the Wilson family left New Jersey and moved 1,700 miles away to Denver, Colorado.

"We tried our hardest. There's only so much activism you can take before you have to stop and say, 'I have to stop and take care of my child now,'" said Brian.

The Wilsons are part of a growing community called "marijuana refugees," moving to places like Colorado and Washington State where there's easy access to pot.

"Governor Christie is always saying, 'You don't' want to be like Colorado.' You want to be like Colorado. Colorado is a working law," said Brian.

So nowadays, along with a special high fat diet, Vivian gets 4 grams of fruit with her meal and three doses of cannabis oil a day.

The Wilson family now says they have a new life.

These days, Vivian's eye patch is gone, seizures are almost nonexistent, and the family is doing things they never thought possible.
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