A 4-year-old girl who suffered from repeated and severe seizures has experienced sudden and dramatic improvement since moving last month from Georgia to Colorado to obtain medical marijuana, her mother says.
Haleigh Cox was enduring hundreds of seizures a day. That number is down to about three a day, and her mother, Jenea, credits the cannabis oil Haleigh started taking three weeks ago.
"I'm a true believer in the oil. It's the only thing that's changed since we've gotten here is the oil," Jenea Cox said.
Haleigh takes the cannabis oil under her tongue or with her food four times a day. It's a medicine that's still illegal in Georgia.
Janea and other parents unsuccessfully lobbied the Georgia legislature earlier this year in an effort to legalize medical marijuana in this state. They say they'll try again next year. In the meantime, Janea says she had to move Haleigh to Colorado right away to save her young life.
The cannabis oil does not produce a high; Janea says there are no side effects like Haleigh's prescription meds produced.
"I truly feel like I'm meeting my child for the first time, ever. She's got a personality, and she smiles," Janea says. "She's making eye contact with us, it's been an amazing change.... She's letting us know when something doesn't feel good, so that's the first time in the longest time we've seen any instructions from her."
And, Janea said, Haleigh is getting a full night of uninterrupted sleep each night, instead of waking up constantly from her seizures.
Haleigh even said "Mama," for the first time, earlier this week – a moment captured on video.
Janea's husband, Haleigh's father, Brian Cox -- a firefighter – will fly from Georgia to Colorado on Monday to visit them for the first time since they moved there last month. They can't afford for him to quit his job and move there.
"I can't wait for her to smile at him for the first time," Jenea Cox said. "I can't wait for him to see what she's like without having seizures. It definitely gives us a lot of hope that we'll lead a seizure-free life hopefully soon.
Gov. Nathan Deal announced on Thursday that the state is working on a path to allow clinical trials for medical marijuana in the state. Cox said she supports those efforts and hopes that she and Haleigh will be able to move back to Georgia to continue their treatments here, perhaps by next year.