Charlotte Figi, the Colorado Springs girl who started a movement that led to radical changes in cannabis laws around the world, died of complications from the new coronavirus. She was 13 years old.
Charlotte’s death was announced Tuesday night by a family friend on her mother’s Facebook page, Paige Figi.
“Charlotte is no longer in pain. She’s seizure-free forever. Thank you so much for all your love,” she wrote.
In recent weeks, Paige Figi had posted on Facebook that a serious illness had struck everyone in her family and sent Charlotte to the hospital. She never explicitly mentioned that it was COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, saying, among other things, that the family had not been able to get tested. The Realm of Caring Foundation, an organization co-founded by Paige Figi, confirmed Wednesday on Facebook that Charlotte’s death was due to complications from the coronavirus.
“Your work is done Charlotte, the world has changed and you can now rest knowing that you are leaving the world for a better place,” wrote the Realm of Caring Foundation on Instagram.
Charlotte suffered from Dravet Syndrome, a rare and debilitating form of epilepsy that appears at an early age. Since she was 3 months old, Charlotte had hundreds of seizures a day. Conventional pharmaceutical treatments were ineffective. At the age of 5, Charlotte had difficulty walking and expressing herself and was feeding with a feeding tube.
After hearing about a family in California who treated their child’s seizures with cannabis oil, Paige Figi researched and contacted a cannabis dispensary owner in Colorado named Joel Stanley, who, with his brothers, had helped develop a strain of cannabis rich in cannabidiol (CBD).
Charlotte’s seizures diminished considerably when she started using CBD oil, so much so that Paige weaned Charlotte off her anti-epileptic medication. Charlotte was soon able to walk, play and feed herself. Her story was featured in the academic literature. Last month, Paige posted on Facebook that it had been five years since Charlotte’s feeding tube had been removed.
In her honor, the Stanley brothers had named their CBD variety, Charlotte’s Web.
Charlotte’s story took on global significance in 2013 when she appeared in a documentary by CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta. The documentary shows Charlotte laughing and playing, her epilepsy contained by the CBD.
Hundreds of families then moved to Colorado in search of CBD for their children.
Charlotte quickly became the face of the medical cannabis movement across the country and around the world. Today, 47 U.S. states allow CBD products in one form or another. Hemp has also been legalized at the federal level. And Epidiolex, CBD oil, has just been released as a controlled substance.
“She was a light that shone on the world. She was a little girl who carried us all on her little shoulders,” the Stanley brothers wrote in a tribute published Tuesday night on their Web site. “… What was her story has become a story shared by hundreds of thousands of people and an inspiration to millions more on their path to betterment. Charlotte was and will be, the heart of our passion and belief that a human being’s dignity and health is a right. »