My Name is Deborah Mc Quillan from Blackrock, Co. Louth. I am the mother of a 15 year old daughter Abigail who suffers from severe Refractory epilepsy and De Vivo disease. She has a lot of anxieties which in turn causes behavioural problems. She also has learning difficulties. She also has a lot of problems with her mobility and her speech and swallows which causes her to drool.
At the age of 6 she was at mainstream school. She did have some development delay’s but we believed that with an extra bit of help she would catch up. Unfortunately that October she had her first seizure. She was hospitalized and after a few test’s she was diagnosed with epilepsy.
We could never have imagined the journey we were about to go on. Abigail was prescribed her first anticonvulsant but the seizures kept coming. Her neurologist prescribed more anticonvulsant’s. This went on and on back and forward. Increasing her dosage, trying to find the right combination.
The years were passing and Abigail’s health was seriously deteriorating. We approached her neurologist about surgery. He said she was not a candidate and suggested a vegas nerve stimulator which was a device that was put into her chest and it releases electrical current’s to her brain every few minutes for a period of time. That helps to diffuse the seizures. This worked for a period of time and yet again the seizures ramped up. We tried lots of different settings. Different drugs. We were on a constant roundabout of weening Abigail on or off drugs.
By this stage, she was between 12 years old. She was under 4 stone in weight. She was in a wheelchair. She lay on a couch all day in her pyjamas watching the same movies over and over again. She did not want to interact with anybody. Her seizure’s kept coming and she was in a lot of pain. She was in a very agitated and angry state all the time. She had no energy. Her body was full of drugs. She was barely able to speak. She would drool and slur her words. Everything she did became such an ordeal for her. I was unable to hug my daughter which is heartbreaking for a mother because even touching her was sore.
Going to school, having a shower, going outside. Abigail’s anxieties were through the roof. Which in turn caused more seizure’s. Day and night Endless cycle of seizures and drugs. Abigail had no quality of life. No existence. Abigail was dying in front of our eye’s. There was no way this tiny frail little girl was able to take much more.
Yet again we were back at the drawing board. Abigail’s neurology team were yet again amazing. They suggested a ketogenic diet. Her Vitamin D had depleted. She had very little or no appetite at this time. So the day after her 13th birthday she started a ketogenic diet. She did very well for a period of time. The neurology team decided that it was now time to wean her off her medication. This was horrific, it was so bad we had to stop and put the medication back in. It was like trying to take someone off heroin. This completely spun her seizure’s out of control. She remained on her diet for 14 month’s until she refused to take it anymore.
Abigail’s seizures were now worse than ever. Puberty had hit. It was like the perfect storm.
She was unable to use the bathroom herself and was using the wheelchair seven days a week. This time last year was the most horrific in the past nine years, we thought we were going to lose her, her little 4 stone body couldn’t take it any more.
In the meantime, social media was exploding with excitement over C.B.D. oil. We started to research to the best of our ability, this was very difficult. There was nobody out there to help or guide us, there were just too many C.B.D. oils in the market but they didn’t have third-party testing that we could trust with our child.
It was at this time after tirelessly trawling the internet to find someone whom we felt confident in. We found John O’ Reilly from the Body Life Clinic based in Cavan town. We told John about our situation. At last, someone understood our situation and the problems we were having. John went straight to work contacting directly a CBD laboratory in Europe and had a custom made C.B.D. oil tailored for the needs of Abigail. This was fantastic.
We now had the confidence in knowing that the oil that we were giving Abigail was third party tested with no unnecessary chemicals and fully legal in Europe with an unlimited supply.
Abigail takes her oil religiously morning and night. She has come on in leaps and bounds.
All of Abigail’s seizures during the day have stopped. She still has night-time seizures but they don’t last as long and recovery is amazing. Her seizures are lasting 20-30 seconds. Where before she was having 6-12 seizures at night. She is now having 3 maybe 4 and an odd night she has none. She’s in great form sleeping really well between seizures. She is no longer in pain.
She is able to walk up and down the stairs on her own. She only uses her wheelchair if she has to walk a bit further. She likes to walk on her own. She has really good days and some bad days. She is now able to go to school 2-3 days a week and we even get the odd full week which is amazing because Abigail would be off week’s sometimes month’s at a time. She is able to interact with other people now and she is learning every day. Song’s, rhymes, counting and she is evening colouring.
She is now 7 and 1/2 stone with a great appetite. She is asking for showers which is a miracle in itself. All of her agitations is gone she is not angry anymore and able to cope with her day to day tasks. She has dressed most days and even heads off to her bedroom to play. Her behaviour is fantastic and she even cracks the odd joke with us.
She is now happy to have a chat with other people and absolutely loves colouring.
Abigail’s consulate managed to take Abigail off one off her medication (Mogadon) which she was on this for six years with minimum disruption. Overall there has been a remarkable improvement. Abigail has zero seizures during the day this is why we say there are Angel’s holding Abigail up, but it is clearly her C.B.D. oil. It has proven to be one of the best treatments for her, consistently improving the quality of her life.
Abigail still has a journey ahead of her, but now there is hope and light at the end of the tunnel. I just want to thank John O’ Reilly for his research and his knowledge and his willingness to help a little girl.
To honour Abigail’s success and achievements in recovery Body Life Clinic has named this C.B.D. oil “Abigail’s Leaf“
Deborah Mc Quillan