Read in Spanish
Since he was a one year old, Michael Jerome began to have different discomforts. His parents recognized that something was wrong.
After several days of problems, he had his first seizure. Due to the increasingly frequent and high-risk seizures and afternoon testing, the doctors at the Children’s Hospital of Costa Rica diagnosed him with refractory epilepsy.
Refractory epilepsy is a difficult and traumatic situation for the patient and the family environment, especially in children. This malady can cause the little ones to have between 1 to 70 or more crises a day.
“We could not take him anywhere. Not to the pool, to the beach or to the park, because my child immediately had seizures,” says his mother Pearl to MCN.
In addition to social activities, seizures caused deficiencies in his motor and cognitive ability. According to his father, Michael could not move his hands well or have a normal life as a child.
The disease had also affected his way of walking and prevented him from performing normal activities such as jumping or running.
Long road to cannabis
Michael is now 10 years old. They were many years of comings and goings to the hospital. Desperately, the Rodríguez Vílchez family had tried all the medications that hospital doctors could offer him.
Some worked for a certain time, others did not work at all. Until one of the medications put him in a coma and the experience was a hell on earth, according to his mother Pearl.
The situation kept the family constantly suffering.
“We have tried a lot of medications because we do not know the cause of your epilepsy. We have tried with carbamazepine, clobazam, right now he is with clobazam and valproate nothing more, but on other occasions we have given him everything,” she says.
Like every mother who gives herself up for her family, the search to improve the condition of Michael Jerome has never stopped. That is how she came to find information that reveals how children with this type of epilepsy could reduce their seizures by using certain extracts of the cannabis plant.
“I had always seen news that the oil can be used for many diseases, however, my family was afraid to use it,” she says.
For a long time the search for cannabis oil was a problem. The first time she found an extract, it was not what she expected.
“I knew I had to give it a try, which surely wasn’t the best source.”
It was 2018 and according to account, access was complicated. Because the use of cannabis in Costa Rica is decriminalized, he was able to find a reliable source that would change his life forever.
“Since January 2020, Michael has had no seizures. Since taking the oil we have seen changes in every sense of the word, he has improved a lot with the oil and we are very happy with this change,” she says.
The change has been rapid
“We, as Michael’s family, believe that it would be a good idea for the government to support the health sector, legalizing medical cannabis because the truth is not only our son would need it, many children in the Children’s Hospital need it, children who convulse up to 70 times in one day”.