“We’re not seeing symptom reduction. We’re seeing symptom elimination.” says dad Dean Bortell.
In Texas, Alexis Bortell always had to worry about riding her bicycle growing up with frequent seizure attacks, but not anymore. In Denver, where her parents moved to after a frightening seizure that Alexis experienced in February, she doesn’t have to worry about those anymore. “There’s a big difference, because in Colorado I’ve had a decrease in seizures, and in Texas I had them every day,” the nine-year-old told WFAA.
“I thought I was going to lose her,” dad Dean Bortell explained. The episode lasted longer than usual and her frantic mom and dad called 911. That scare is why they moved West, and they won’t come back home without cannabis oil, medical marijuana. “It just makes me happy sometimes… a little bit hungry,” Alexis said when asked whether the cannabis oil ever makes her feel different.
Twice a day, her mother feeds Alexis the oil with a syringe and she chases it down with a glass of apple juice. The results from medical marijuana are remarkable for Alexis, her seizures have gone from once a day in Texas to once a month in Colorado. “I’m not staying in bed and having seizures,” Alexis said. “I am able to ride bikes and do the things I wasn’t able to before.” Cannabis oil calms her brain activity, which is something no pharmaceutical available legally in Texas could accomplish.
The nine-year-old’s prescription is a 15:1 mixture of CBD oil and THC. THC is the controversial ingredient that can produce a high. “It can,” Dean Bortell said. “But put it in perspective, every anti-epileptic drug she was on produced a high.” No seizures means no restrictions on bicycle riding.
On Monday night, the Texas House passed Senate Bill 339, which would let patients like Alexis legally receive CBD oils. The legislation gets a third and final reading on Tuesday before heading to Gov. Greg Abbott. Dean Bortell said the bill is a good start, but doesn’t permit high enough THC levels to safely bring his family back to Rowlett. What Colorado considers a lifesaver, Texas still sees as a crime.