LeAnne Parker is a supermom. Between caring for her two daughters, her dogs and keeping up with her career, she does it all.
“For four years my life was normal. My kids were normal. I knew nothing was wrong,” Parker said.
That is until Jan. 7, 2017, when her five-year-old daughter Lily, became unresponsive.
“Her eyes just slowly start going to the right, almost like poltergeist, to the point where she turned her whole body until she was facing the shower which was behind her,” Parker said.
In a panic, Parker immediately called an ambulance.
“I didn’t know what to do, I just sat there and cried, I thought I was losing her, I just had the door open and I was just screaming for somebody to please help,” Parker remembered.
Lily was taken to the hospital where doctors couldn't figure out what had happened.
“They just said, 'if it happens again call us' and sent me home with no answers so we came home with no answers,” Parker said.
Two weeks later, it happened again. And then again.
“She did testing and testing and everybody said ‘I don’t know, just the brain is…welcome to the brain,’” Parker said.
Finally in February, Lily received a diagnosis of epilepsy.
“With two seizures that are unprovoked, you get the diagnosis of epilepsy.”
She was immediately put on prescription medication, but the seizures continued. Lily had reached the maximum dosage possible.
“Now she’s failed all pharmaceuticals,” Parker said.
Not only were the medications ineffective, her physical and mental state began to deteriorate. Five-year-old Lily was high, every day, her mom said.
“I sent her to school the other day, and they called me and they said that she was tired. She was passing out. She fell asleep during circle,” Parker said.
She picked Lily up from school after her teachers told her she was walking into walls. The only other option for Lily was brain surgery, if she would even qualify.
“I thought, there has to be something else,” Parker said.
Brain surgery could mean a loss of Lily’s peripheral vision.
“And there’s a chance that it wouldn't even work, so then my daughter is partially blind and still has seizures, how do you make that choice for your kid, I don’t know,” Parker said. She would never be able to drive, never be able to play sports, that’s a really, really hard decision to make as a parent.”
Desperate for another solution, Leanne found out about CBD, Cannabidiol.
“I started doing my research so instead of doing all of my research about epilepsy, now I was doing all of my research about CBD oil and learning everything I possibly could to learn about the benefits of it,” Parker said.
She went to a meeting in Grand Haven about medical marijuana’s use in treating epilepsy and from that point forward, she was going to give CBD a try.
“It’s my daughter, so you can judge me. I feel like we live in a culture where it’s okay to pop Oxycontin, Vicodin and pain killers but we look at CBD oil like it’s awful, I don’t understand that,” Parker said.
Nervous, Leanne approached her daughter’s neurologist with the idea.
“I brought it up to my doctor hoping and praying that he was on board with it and a lot of people aren’t
I’m lucky that I found a doctor that is, because if he wasn’t, I’d have to do it behind his back,” Parker said.
Weeks later, she received Lily’s medical marijuana license in the mail.
“The sad part is, there’s no doctor to talk to and that is the most frustrating part with me, because I’m like ‘okay I’m on board I want to do this, how, where, what do I do, how do I go about it and how do I even know how to dose my daughter?’” Parker said.
Through her research, she found Bloom. The Ann Arbor based medical marijuana facility that offers doctor/patient consulting.
“I wish this was option one before the pharmaceuticals, I wish I would have tried this first,” Parker said.
It’s still a little too early today, but it’s been 25 days seizure free for Lily.
“I am not hopping on a bandwagon of medical marijuana, I’m jumping off of the pharmaceutical bandwagon,” Parker said.
So far, this is the longest Lily has gone without having a seizure since July of 2017.
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