Testimonial: How Texas Medical Cannabis is Helping Ian K., an 8-Year-Old From San Marcos
In this occasional series, Texas families share their stories about how medical cannabis has had a profound impact on their lives. Compassionate Cultivation has served patients across the Lone Star State since early 2018, when the Texas medical cannabis program became fully operational. We’ve received a multitude of positive feedback from families who are grateful to have another option available when conventional medications have failed to improve quality of life and ease suffering for patients with intractable epilepsy.
Meet Ian K. He is eight years old and lives with his family in San Marcos, Texas. Ian was born with Down Syndrome and experiences absence seizures (formerly known as petit mal seizures) and tonic-clonic or convulsive seizures (formerly known as grand mal seizures).
Here, Ian’s mother, Ashley, tells Compassionate Cultivation about her family’s experience with the Texas Compassionate Use Program.
(The following interview has been edited for length and clarity.)
What are the biggest improvements to Ian’s quality of life since you began integrating CBD medicine into his treatment plan?
Ian used to have 10 seizures or more a day, and they were delaying his motor-skills development. Before the CBD oil, he could not walk; he could just scoot around, and we were using a wheelchair for him. He also had food-texture issues; anything that had texture he would not touch, and the only foods he would eat were baby food, applesauce and yogurt.
Since he’s been on Compassionate Cultivation’s CBD oil medicine, he is walking now with a walker. He tolerates food textures much better and is eating a wider range of foods. He is learning like crazy. Best of all, he is an alert and happy boy.
What month and year did Ian start receiving CBD medicine through the Texas medical cannabis program?
Ian began using CBD oil through the Texas medical cannabis program in June of 2018.
What changes have you and Ian noticed in his epilepsy symptoms since beginning CBD treatment?
My son was on three different medications before starting CBD oil, and he was still having 10 or more seizures a day. He’s now off one of those three medications, and his seizures have dropped from 10 a day to none.
Have you noticed any drawbacks or negative side effects from the use of medical cannabis?
Would you recommend medical cannabis for other patients with similar conditions?
Yes, I would.
What was your experience with other treatments and medications besides medical cannabis?
The conventional seizure medication was not stopping Ian’s seizures. It put my son’s milestones on hold. We could not get him to walk with a walker, and he was not as alert as he is now to his surroundings. Now he is a very happy person, very alert. He’s standing on his own for a few seconds, and he’s also taking baby steps to walk on his own. This is huge for him. He also didn’t enjoy doing his schoolwork before. Now he loves his schoolwork, and he is ready to learn.
Has Ian been able to receive medical cannabis treatment as needed throughout the day at school?
Yes, but the nursing company we utilize just notified me that his nurses are not allowed to give the CBD oil to my son. I have to give it to him. I am a single mom raising Ian on my own. His nurses help me so much. It would be very nice if policies were changed to allow the nurses to give Ian his CBD oil in school.
How did you find out about the Texas medical cannabis program?
Through my son’s doctor.
How long did it take you to gain access to medical cannabis through the state program?
As soon as I found out about the CBD oil through his doctor, it took about a month to get him started on the program.
What changes would you recommend for expanding the Texas medical cannabis program?
I would recommend allowing nursing staff to administer CBD oil to patients.
Should the Texas medical cannabis program be expanded to include other conditions?
How did you learn about Compassionate Cultivation?
My son’s doctor.
What has been your honest experience with Compassionate Cultivation as your provider of CBD medicine?
I’ve found Compassionate Cultivation’s staff to be very helpful. It has been a great experience so far.