When Penny and Dustin Howard’s daughter Harper was diagnosed with CDKL5 Epilepsy, a rare form of epilepsy that causes frequent debilitating seizures, the family scrambled for treatment options. Traditional pharmaceuticals were ineffective or left their daughter “catatonic,” so the family looked for alternative options. Relief came in the form of CBD oil.
Within the first three days we had eye contact and verbalization sounds from her …” They launched “Hope 4 Harper,” a Facebook page and blog documenting their journey. Little did they know what impact sharing their story would have. Katiele Fischer, a mother of another child diagnosed with CDKL5, found the Howards’ blog and had CBD shipped to her illegally from relatives in the US to Brazil where she lived. Fischer documented her daughter’s treatment with a doctor and lawyer.
“Just like Harper’s, Anny’s seizures started to disappear. When the worst happened and Katiele was caught importing the CBD oil illegally, Katiele did something that inspired even our family. In April 2014, Katiele stormed up the steps of ANVISA, Brazil’s FDA, and sued the federal government of Brazil for her right to access RSHO to save little Anny.
“As things stand today, Brazil is not only allowing CBD hemp oil to be imported into Brazil as a medication with a doctor’s prescription, the Brazilian government is subsidizing the payments under their healthcare system. And now, Brazil is allowing CBD from hemp to be imported for more than epilepsy, but also for several other medical indications, including Parkinson’s disease and chronic pain.”
Read more about cannabis’ anti-convulsant properties in this study presented by the American Epilepsy Society and titled, “Long-term Efficacy and Tolerability of Add-on Cannabidiol for Drug-Resistant Pediatric Epilepsies.”