Durant mom credits medical marijuana with healing 7-year-old's seizures
A Durant girl with epilepsy is coming up on a year without seizures.
Her mom credits medical marijuana, which includes THC. She says it has healed her 7-year-old.
Shelley Dunnam said her daughter Marleigh started having hours-long seizures at 10 months old.
She said prescription medication for epilepsy wasn't helping. So when medical marijuana was legalized in Oklahoma, she gave it a shot.
Now she said it's saving her daughter's life.
"No shaky's," said Marleigh Dunnam.
That's what Marleigh calls the seizures she suffered through her entire life until March.
Her mom Shelley said the last one was three and a half hours long and she had to be flown to a Fort Worth hospital.
"The damages that have concurred because of such long seizures are what's hard for Marleigh," Shelley said.
Seizures brought on by epilepsy.
She's seven, but her mom says she has the mental capacity of a 4-year-old because of damage from the seizures.
At one point, Shelley says Marleigh was taking four to five pharmaceutical medications at once.
"She couldn't function. She wanted to lay around, she didn't want to be an active part of any day," Shelley said.
She said nothing was working.
So when State Question 788 passed in June 2018 legalizing medical marijuana, she started asking doctors for a license.
"For the next year of our life, I was hung up on and told how ridiculous I was asking people to give my 7-year-old marijuana," Shelley said.
She was finally able to get one from doctors in Edmond.
Marleigh's been taking five milligram gummies daily for almost a year now.
One in the morning, two throughout the day and two at night, about 20 milligrams in total per day.
"My mom gives me them every morning," Marleigh said.
"The CBD kind of counteracts the THC psychoactive effects to keep her from being high, if you will. At our house we don't use that word, we say medicate, we take our medicine," Shelley said.
Every morning she wakes up with hand tremors caused by the epilepsy.
Once she's had the marijuana, the tremors stop.
More importantly, in two weeks, it will be a year since she's had a seizure.
"I don't know how else to say it, she's living her best life. I get to see Marleigh more," Shelley said.
"It's about the fact that for the first time in almost eight years, my daughter has a chance at her life," she said.
Shelley is now the manager of a local dispensary and advocates for medical marijuana after what she's seen in her daughter.
But she wants more to be done, like the state government authorizing school nurses to administer medication for kids.
In March, she said Marleigh's doctor will allow her to stop her last seizure medicine, then she'll only take medical marijuana.