One Family Says Medical Marijuana Would Help Child With Epilepsy - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

One Family Says Medical Marijuana Would Help Child With Epilepsy

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"It's probably the worst thing that you have to see and you can't do anything about it to make it stop," said Tina McDermott.

Tina McDermott says watching her son, Ryan suffer through seizures is one of the hardest things she's had to do.  Ryan has Dravet Syndrome, which is a rare form of epilepsy that requires him to take up to three medications a day. His last seizure was almost a week ago.

"He had a seizure on Saturday and hasn't had one since. For awhile now he was having five, six, seven, even eight a day," said McDermott. She explains that Dravet syndrome is hard to control with the medicine Ryan currently takes and how she's already started researching the benefits of medical marijuana.

"Medical marijuana would help seizures decrease a lot. I know that from talking to other parents of Dravet kids," said McDermott.  "There are children that have begun to say words and sentences. Takes steps, all the stuff I'd love to have Ryan do."

Manta Ponsetto with the Epilepsy foundation says a lot of people are unaware of how patients would consume the medicine.  "The cannibus oil is an oil..an extract. It is put under the tongue, mixed in with their food. Very different from what a lot of people suppose," said Ponsetto.  "The cannibus oil works as a calming factor and will reduce seizures quite a bit."

As for McDermott, she says if Illinois lawmakers don't support the measure, she plans to move to Colorado where Ryan will be able to legally use medicinal marijuana."It's been a long eight years. We've tried everything we were supposed to try and do for Dravet syndrome," said McDermott. "They're just not working. Why should my son suffer?"

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