Charlotte Figi, a Colorado teenager with a rare form of epilepsy who inspired the name of a CBD oil used in the hopes that it will treat seizures, died Wednesday afternoon. She was 13.
A Facebook message on behalf of the family read: “Charlotte is no longer suffering. She is seizure-free forever. Thank you so much for all of your love. Please respect their privacy at this time.”
Charlotte had Dravet syndrome, an extreme form of epilepsy. At age 5, she suffered as many as 300 grand mal seizures a week, used a wheelchair, went into repeated cardiac arrest and could barely speak.
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Her mother, Paige Figi, began calling medical marijuana shops in Colorado after doctors had exhausted all other options. Charlotte’s symptoms largely disappeared after she began taking an oil infused with a strain of cannabis low in THC, the plant’s psychoactive ingredient, but high in the compound cannabidiol, or CBD.
The oil’s name, inspired by her story, was changed to Charlotte’s Web.
Charlotte’s success led other families with children suffering from seizures to move to Colorado, where marijuana was legalized much earlier than other states.
In a Facebook post last week, Paige Figi announced that Charlotte was in the hospital because of a virus.
“Most of the house recovered well from a month of virus but our little Charlotte hasn’t improved,” the post read. “She had a couple days where she seemed to turn the corner but then she took a dive. We used all of our tricks the past few days but nothing worked.”
In a post on Sunday, she said her daughter had been discharged, writing, “This kid…heh heh…she is one tough SOB.”
Figi did not reveal if Charlotte had the coronavirus.
Realm of Caring, a nonprofit organization founded by Figi, thanked Charlotte for dedicating her life to helping others.
“Charlotte’s story directly impacted thousands of families across the globe and has changed the face of cannabis in many ways,” the organization wrote on Facebook.
“Your work is done Charlotte, the world is changed, and you can now rest knowing that you leave the world a better place. With broken hearts, we cradle the Figi’s/Iafeliece’s in our thoughts and prayers. Thank you, Charlotte, for dedicating your life to the service of a greater good. We promise to carry on the mission,” it continued.