When Jessica Trent-Miller put her then 3-year-old daughter, Kaitlyn, to bed in September of 2012, she had no idea she would be waking up minutes later to a nightmare.
She didn’t know it at the time, but her daughter had Intractable Epilepsy, a seizure disorder in which a patient’s seizures fail to come under control with treatment.
The following December, the seizures started increasing in intensity and number. “It was like it never stopped after that. We went through 13 different medications but nothing worked. She was so spaced out and literally drugged on the medications that are FDA approved. ”
With each seizure, there was a risk of death and, as Miller explained, more memory loss.
“I couldn’t talk, but I knew God would bless me while I was having seizures. But that would stop when I was older,” said Kaitlyn.
Running out of options, Miller decided to enroll Kaitlyn at age five in a clinical trial at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. It was there she started CBD oil, a liquid form of medical marijuana that is made up of 98% cannibidiol oil and only trace amounts of THC — the ingredient that causes recreational users to get high.
“I was worried about the medical marijuana stigma at the time, even with family members I worried. But as soon as I saw what it was doing for her, I didn’t care anymore.”
Miller said the seizures dropped from sometimes several times a day to once every several months.
“It has absolutely been life and death for my daughter, because I’ve seen her before and after the oil and her life is so much better.”
As Miller pointed out, her daughter’s medical marijuana CBD oil is different from the CBD oil made from hemp currently sold in local stores. While West Virginia has legalized some forms of medical marijuana, it is not yet available to patients.
For now, Kaitlyn and her mother have to drive to Columbus, Ohio every three months to receive the medication.