Article written by
Content reviewed by
Dr. Lewis JasseyMedical Director - Pediatric Medicine
When Dr. Annabelle Manalo-Morgan had her son Macario, he seemed perfectly healthy. But shortly after bringing him home, he began twitching and foaming at the mouth.
Rushing her newborn back to the hospital, the medical team informed her Macario had a stroke.
“Soon after that, we discovered he was having over 200 seizures a day,” says Dr. Manalo-Morgan, Ph.D., a cell and developmental biologist based in Nashville, Tennessee.
“Of course, life changed immediately at that point,” she says. “We now live in the ICU. Doctors are trying every drug regimen, everything they know to do to stop these seizures and just help our little boy.”
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When Macario was five-weeks-old, he underwent a surgery that removed 38% of his brain in an attempt to stop the seizures. He was put on a strict medical regimen and had to be fed through a G-tube. While Macario had survived, Dr. Manalo-Morgan noticed he didn’t seem to be developing at the same rate as other children.
“When Macario turned about six months old, I was looking at him one day, and he was still not very much different than a newborn baby,” she says. “At six months, you’re sitting up and laughing, but Macario wasn’t doing any of that.”
Dr. Manalo-Morgan began researching other solutions and kept coming across CBD, a cannabinoid found in cannabis plants. As a scientist with access to equipment and a lab, she got to work and formulated a medicine for Macario utilizing CBD. She took him off all his medications and started treating him with it.
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Within days, she noticed a marked improvement, and soon Macario crawled, then walked.
“He’s now in the first grade and has no developmental deficits. He’s talking, playing, and doing everything that a seven-year-old should,” she says.
Macario still uses CBD daily and is able to take advantage of other cannabinoids to supplement his health. Now a mother of five, Dr. Manalo-Morgan recently released her book Mighty Flower, which shares Macario’s story and her journey as a mother and scientist in discovering cannabis as medicine.
She is also the lead scientist at Flora Growth, a global company focused on advancing accessibility to plant-based medicines like cannabis. The company also grows organic crops and develops high-quality, medical-grade cannabis products to help treat things like chronic pain, neurological issues, cancer symptoms, and more.
“There are so many different things that CBD can help,” Dr. Manalo-Morgan says. “And in my son’s case, it changed his life.”
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