- A mother from Preston wants doctors to trial CBD oil on her epileptic daughter
- Olivia, 2, suffers up to 100 seizures a day and can last up to 2 hours
- The young family claim pharmaceutical medications are not helping their daughter’s suffering
- Dravet syndrome affects one in every 40,000 children in the UK
A young British mother is begging her doctors to trial cannabis oil on her severely epileptic daughter, who suffers up to 100 seizures a day.
Jenna Heary, from Preston, wants doctors to trial Cannabidiol (CBD) treatment, on her daughter, Olivia, after the young girl showed resistance to pharmaceutical epilepsy medication.
Olivia was diagnosed with Early Myoclonic Encephalopathy (EME), a rare form of severe and intractable epilepsy, leaving her blind and partially paralyzed.
Speaking to the Lancashire Evening Post, Jenna explained that she is pursuing cannabis-based treatment after traditional pharmaceutical medications failed her daughter:
“Olivia has 100+ seizures every day, she’s on six different medications and a Ketogenic diet to help control them but it doesn’t work.
Olivia surrounded by her loving family and Mum Jenna (right)
“I want to get her on a trial to make her just that little bit more comfortable and if it reduces her seizures that would be a real bonus. It’s our last resort.
“I’m trying to get Olivia onto a trial using CBD medical cannabis oil or cannabidiol to see if it can control her seizures.
“In one child I heard of, it reduced her seizures by about 50%.”
“All I want is to give Olivia the best quality of life she has left.”
– Jenna Heary
Olivia’s health deteriorated even further at nine-months-old. The toddler had a severe seizure which lasted three hours, nearly killing the brave young girl.
“During the seizure, Olivia had every medication that any consultant was able to give us within 24 hours but her seizure just continued,” Jenna told the LEP.
“Afterwards, doctors told us her all round development had just gone, she would never be able to walk or talk.
“Before the three-hour seizure, she would interact with you and recognise your voice.”
The seizure cost Olivia her sight and equilibrium, losing control of her head and the trunk of her body.
The young family found hope when they learned about the positive results from London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH)’s CBD trial.
Researchers at GOSH studied 120 epileptic drug-resistant children across Europe and the USA to determine whether CBD has the potential to be used in epilepsy treatment.
They found that CBD reduced seizures by nearly 40% in the children.
This research provided Jenna and her boyfriend, Matthew, a life-line of hope.
They are hoping to get their child on a similar trial in the hope of reducing her seizures to give her a more normal life:
“We just try and take each day as it comes and we’re grateful for every day.
”But I want to give her some extra time and to make her more comfortable. All I want is to give Olivia the best quality of life she has left.”
Olivia’s journey can be supported through her official FaceBook page or their Just Giving page.
References and further Reading