Credit: Democracy Now!
Dara and her daughter Madeline are interviewed by Democracy Now. Dara talks about her daughter, Madeline and when her epilepsy began and how she reacted to experience her daughters first encounters with seizures. Maddy was born prematurely in 2004 and she experiences a stroke in utero which gave Madeline severe brain damage. Madeline started to have seizures when she was 5 years old.
After Madeline experienced her first of many seizures, she started to take low doses of pharmaceutical seizure medication such as Trileptal, Vimpat (Lacosamide) but Madeline continued to have seizures. Madeleine explains that her seizures are “not good”, but that she is thankful to be able to express to her mom Dara that she is experiencing one, which to her, makes her life better.
Dara explains that last summer Madeline was on three different medications for Madeleine’s epileptic seizures. Dara started to notice side effects due to the medication, her personality changed and Dara described her as “zombie-like, a shell of a person”. Dara explains that she’s unsure whether or not that was due to the pharmaceutical medication or due to the seizures themselves.
Dara was told that one alternative that she could do to help Madeline, was for her to have brain surgery. This involved taking out the whole left side of Madeline’s brain. Dara explains “Taking out the left side of her brain is very difficult for any mother for any parent to see that”. Dara found a video online about medical marijuana and how it has helped children with seizures, but marijuana was illegal in the state of Virginia where they lived, so they moved to Colorado in order to treat Madeleine with CBD oil.
Madeline started her cannabis treatment in October, and by December Madeleine was weaned off of all pharmaceutical drugs. Since then, the amount of seizures that she had been suffering with had grately reduced, and she is now living somewhat, seizure free.