Ky. family who moved to Colorado for medical marijuana talks bill passed by House

By  | 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - The legalization of medical marijuana in Kentucky has been a several year long fight, but since the House recently passed a bill which could move this issue forward, one family is finally taking a sigh of relief.

"After his first set of vaccinations he had an hour-long seizure and he ended up being Life Flighted away for the first time," said Crystal Byrd, whose son's seizures started at a few months old.

It took a year for the Byrd family to find out what was going on with their son, Charles.

"Dravet syndrome-- it's a very severe form of epilepsy," Crystal said.

Charles' syndrome gave him as many as 30 seizures a month, but Crystal and Eric Byrd found hope when they heard of a little girl with the same condition, wheelchair-bound out west.

"She was a four-year-old that had been almost cured, she had so many seizures a day and then she started on Charlotte's web and that was the first CBD oil we ever tried," Crystal said.

It's considered medical marijuana because this form of CBD oil contains higher levels of THC. Kentucky was nowhere near legalizing medical marijuana in 2013, so the Byrd family picked up their life and moved to Colorado.

Eric flew back in 2014 to give testimony to House members and told them that in the time they'd been in Colorado, his son's seizures went from 20-30 a week to about 10.

"And living there was probably one of the hardest things we've ever done, to leave our parents and our whole support system that helped us take care of Charlie" Crystal said.

It only took them about six months to move back. Within months, former Governor Beshear signed a bill allowing CBD oils to be shipped into the state, helping Charles. However, it wasn't cheap.

"It was very costly and it was not needed if our state had allowed us access to this thing, we wouldn't have lost about $30,000," Crystal said.

Now they're hoping lawmakers will help families like theirs.

"I want to know why my son can't be given something that I know can help him," Crystal said. "A slippery slope for someone could be my son's gateway to being perfectly normal."

Eric and Crystal Byrd said the biggest difference in their son using medical marijuana is in his motor skills, behavior and mood.