Family hopes marijuana will stop 17-month-old's seizures
Written by Michael Crowe, Multimedia Journalist - email
JANESVILLE (KWWL) -
17-month-old Maggie Selmeski is a little girl, with a big problem -- she had her first major seizure when she was just six weeks old.
"She was convulsing," her mother, Rachael Selmeski, said. "All her limbs were convulsing."
Doctors can't figure out what's wrong with Maggie, but they have diagnosed her main symptom: infantile spasms. She's tried four anti-seizure medications, but nothing has worked for her. So now, her parents have come to their last resort.
"We are in the process of moving to Colorado to gain access to medical marijuana," she said.
Maggie has more than 500 seizures every a day. They're tough to spot, but devastating to her development. She's 17 months old, but has the brain and motor development of a three-month-old infant. She can't even hold her head up.
Her parents felt helpless, but then, they saw a CNN documentary about marijuana, called "Weed."
In it, they saw kids just like Maggie, their seizures significantly reduced by medical marijuana.
"It just was like a light bulb," Selmeski said. "We're like, 'yep, this is what we've got to do.'"
The drug Maggie will receive is low in THC, the chemical that gives recreational users the trademark high.
"So she won't be getting high, she won't be smoking it," Selmeski said. "It'll just be an oil. I'll give it to her just like I do any of her other supplements or medications."
Her parents hope that the treatment will reduce her seizures, and unlock the girl they know is trapped inside.
"We're so excited to just meet Maggie, and have her little personality come out and shine," Selmeski said.
Because right now, despite the social stigma, medical marijuana could be Maggie's last chance.
"Seeing her not be able to interact, watching other kids play, and not have your daughter be able to play ... if you start to experience that, then you might realize that there are other options out there," Selmeski said. "You would try anything for your child to give her a better life."
Maggie is on a waiting list in Colorado, and should start the treatment in mid-November.
Her mother said she hopes marijuana laws change, because once Maggie starts the treatment, they'll be stuck in Colorado, far from their family here in the Midwest.
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