There isn’t a day that goes by that Danielle and Seth Hyman don’t live in fear that one of the epileptic seizures that course through their daughter dozens of times daily could be the one that kills her.
“At any given time, my little angel could be taken to heaven,’’ said Seth Hyman of Weston. His eight-year-old daughter Rebecca suffers from a rare genetic disorder that results in hearing loss, visual impairment, frequent daily seizures and requires her to be fed through a feeding tube to supplement her nutrition.
For years, the couple tried powerful medications to control the frequent, often silent, seizures but the toxins weakened their daughter’s organs and produced little improvement. Now, the Hymans are among a growing number of Florida families holding out hope that they can persuade lawmakers to legalize a strain of marijuana that has been shown to control seizures in children.
The strain is high in cannabidiol (CBD), the ingredient that controls seizures, but is low in tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the compound that creates a high. It can be administered without smoking — ingested in oil form or vaporized in a feeding tube. But, like all marijuana in Florida, it is illegal to possess, distribute and sell — unless lawmakers make an exception.
After years of rejecting proposals to allow marijuana to be sold for medical purposes, Florida’s Republican-led Legislature has agreed to hear a bill to allow medical distribution of the specialty strain, known as Charlotte’s Web. The House Criminal Justice Subcommittee will hold a workshop Thursday to hear from parents, growers in Colorado, and medical professionals about Charlotte’s Web. Story here.
Photo: Walter Michot, Miami Herald