Piedmont family says hemp oil bill may be last chance for daughter with epilepsy

MOCKSVILLE, N.C. — One local family says a new bill introduced into the N.C. House may be their last chance for a normal life.

Phil, Drema, Kaylee and Colton Morris are all too familiar with the effects of epilepsy. That’s because three members of the Mocksville family suffer from the disorder. Drema was diagnosed when she was 13. Both of her and Phil’s children; Kaylee, 10, and Colton, 8, were diagnosed in the months after their birth.

Drema’s epilepsy is controlled by medication. Kalyee and Colton’s, however, are not. Kaylee’s parents say she used to suffer over 200 seizures daily as a result of the disorder.

“Her mind [will] shut down, and then restart, and then sometimes shuts down immediately after that,” said Phil.

Drema says there were periods where the family wasn’t sure that Haylee would survive because the seizures were so severe. The family says they put Kaylee and Colton on a new diet, which has caused Kaylee’s seizures to drop significantly, but not stop.

“We’ve gone through 27 different seizure medications and none of them worked. We kept upping the dosage and none of them worked on her,” said Phil.

Phil and Drema believe a new bill filed on Wednesday, House Bill 1220 (titled “Hope 4 Haley and Friends”), may be their last hope to stop Kaylee’s seizures. The bill would legalize the use of CBD oil, which is extracted from marijuana plants, in extraordinary cases like Kaylee’s.

“We have a lot of hope that this CBD oil can take her out, take her down to zero and maybe even get her off of this diet,” said Phil.

The Morris family, and other families with children that have symptoms similar to Kaylee’s, say CBD oil isn’t smoked and wouldn’t harm their children. They insist that it does not get them high.

“CDB oil [has] all these healing properties in it and it’s got all this stuff to help the brain,” said Phil.

Kaylee has persevered despite the disorder. She has claimed six medals at the Special Olympics; three for equestrian and three for swimming. She and Colton are currently in Raleigh, gearing up to compete in the Special Olympics’ swimming competition. Despite her success, Phil and Drema say all they want is for Kaylee and Colton’s seizures to go away.

“We’ve gone through so many things,” said Phil. “I can’t imagine anything else coming up as a possibility after this.”

The bill has passed its first reading in the N.C. House, and has been referred to the Committee on Health and Human Services.

 

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