Can sick children be saved by marijuana? Families and doctors are giving CBDs a closer look

Following doctor’s orders, Brian and Damaris Higuera drove home to let their baby die.

Not quite nine months old, Sadie had already endured a lifetime of medical treatments. Due to a rare genetic disorder, Schnizel Giedeon Syndrome, one of her kidneys malfunctioned, her intestines were displaced and her brain lacked the nerve fibers linking the two hemispheres.

Up to 300 seizures a day punished her little body. Nothing helped: not surgeries, opioids, steroids, nor consultations with experts from Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego and the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota.

“It’s time for you to be your daughter’s hero,” one doctor told Brian Higuera, “and discontinue her medications.”

“We got our baby back!” Damaris said, crying. “We got our baby back!”

Caring people

Sadie’s first nine months exhausted everyone in the Higuera household. The entire family — Brian, Damaris and their two other daughters, Dina, who is now 8, and Sophia, now 6 — spent numerous days and nights in hospital waiting rooms.

Sadie’s grand mal seizures were tense episodes, leaving family members in tears. When surgeons removed a tumor from the base of Sadie’s spine, her survival was in doubt. The baby was hospitalized up to three weeks a month.

While the CBDs eliminated Sadie’s seizures, she still copes with a variety of congenital disorders. And the family’s finances were being stretched to the limit.

The Higueras add a drop of cannabis oil to the CBD-laden hemp oil, as some studies indicate that CBD works best in combination with cannabis. Neither substance is cheap. Higuera, who had received an inheritance from his father, spent $50,000 to $60,000 a year on these fluids.

When Hemp Meds, a subsidiary of Medical Marijuana, learned of the Higuera’s story, the company established a foundation to pay for Sadie’s hemp oil.

Mankind Cooperative, the Miramar dispensary where the Higueras buy Sadie’s cannabis oil, sell it to the family at cost.

“The cannabis industry are some of the most caring people I’ve met,” Brian Higuera said.

No one cares more for Sadie than her older sisters, who bring her toys and talk to her constantly, stimulating her injured brain.

“You know, papa,” Dina recently said to her father, “I’m really grateful that Sadie is still alive. Now I get to play with her.”

For the Higueras, the past year has been especially happy. Sadie spent all 12 months at home, without a single trip to the hospital.


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