Hemp Oil Giving Iowa Woman Her Life Back

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FONDA, Iowa -- Debilitating seizures stole her ability to walk and communicate and left a 25-year-old Fonda woman trapped in her own body.

Harli Kirkpatrick's family did everything they could to help, but the varieties of prescriptions were only outnumbered by the repeated doctor's visits.

Their frustration led them to an unconventional option, with unexpected results.

“What's meaningful to Harli is that she has control of her life and that means having control of her body,” says Tami Mugler of Fonda.

Like all mothers Mugler had big dreams for her daughter, that all changed when Harli Kirkpatrick was just one-year-old.

“There are several genotypes Harli is deletion. The deletion genotype is the most common for Angelman's Syndrome but also the most severe,” says Mugler.

Angelman's Syndrome limits speech, delays physical development and causes debilitating seizures.

“She was sitting in her chair and her body was jerking and slamming from myoclonic episodes so frequently and so hard she pretty much wasn't there she was existing,” says Mugler.

The heartbreaking episodes led Tami on a search for answers across the country.

Over the past 25 years Harli's visited a dozen different doctors and specialists, altered her diet and tried multiple prescription drugs and supplements.

“As a parent you're heartbroken because you know what these meds can do, you know what the side effects are,” says Mugler.

At times the medication seemed to work but eventually the seizures, sometimes up to 20 per day returned.

“There's no words to watch your child lose her entire life because that's what she did, she never smiled anymore, she never typed, she didn't talk to me, she couldn't tell me how she was feeling,” says Mugler.

Out of options Tami turned to Boris Shcharansky, CEO of Heartland Hemp in Des Moines.

“I facilitated them being able to get a quality tested, federally legal product and that's what they wanted. They didn't want to break any laws so I helped them do that,” says Shcharansky.

The product, CBD Hemp Oil starts in Europe, where the hemp plant is legally grown.

It's then legally imported and concentrated in the United States.

One bottle, or about a one month's supply, costs $370.00.

The end result contains 24 percent medicinal CBD and less than 1 percent THC, far below the amount needed to cause a high.

Harli takes 75 mg in the morning and 50 mg at night.

Within weeks of Harli taking the oil, Tami knew she made the right decision.

We followed Harli to physical therapy and watched as she had her first major break-through.

Harli was able to hold herself up on her hands in knees, something she has never done before.

Harli wasn’t done.

“I was very certain Harli would never have the opportunity to walk unassisted, Harli had other ideas,” says Mugler.

Harli is walking and climbing stairs, something she hasn't done since she was in elementary school.

“That's pretty exciting as a parent to see the advances that you had already written off as not going to happen. Harli is doing things not only that she's never done before but never attempted before, because she didn't have the control over her body she has right now,” says Mugler.

The oils even given Harli a voice back. Harli is now able to communicate by typing into an iPad.

She told us, “The oil make my mind stop, be so jumbled.”

Harli is now communicating with her family and finally saying what her mom has been waiting for.

“My mind listen much more now and it helps my body listen, it's like freedom for me,” says Harli Kirkpatrick.

Her mom couldn’t be more excited.

“I'm really glad to see the seizures gone, I’m really glad to see them gone and it astounds me every day what made them go away,” says Mugler.

Harli is now feeding herself again, communicating, and gaining strength and coordination that seemed impossible six months ago.

It's bringing Tami's dreams for her daughter back into focus and giving Harli her own.

“To go hiking and see more my country as so much not accessible to me with my chair. I like to run one day with my friends,” says Harli Kirkpatrick.

“When you look back at the journey we've had and the medications we've tried, and the things we've done and the miles we've traveled, it's so astounding that something so simple as hemp gave her, her life back,” says Mugler.

Heartland Hemp Company is lobbying for industrial hemp to be grown here in Iowa. The company is meeting with lawmakers and hope a bill will be introduced this session.

Harli has an appointment to see her neurologist later this week for an update on her progress.

Her mom is hopeful Harli is off all prescription drugs within six months.

To follow Harli's journey and learn more, click here.

15 comments

  • John Smith

    Best hopes and wishes for this courageous young woman! May there be no end to your progress!

    I think it was Ann Landers who used to say: “Nothing succeeds like success.”

  • revraygreen (@revraygreen)

    Please END THE PARADE of sick patients. children and families begging for compassion every legislative session.
    end the caging of humans in Iowa over something SAFER than alcohol, aspirin and adderrall.. SSB 1005 in Iowa Legislature now, please contact your State rep. “Under the bill, a person who possesses five grams or less of marijuana commits a simple misdemeanor for a first offense. A simple misdemeanor is punishable by confinement for no more than 30 days or a fine of at least $65

  • Fed UP

    Those genius Drs. were feeding her nothing but poison for years, propping up the bloated drug industry. We all have got to understand these are nothing more than chemicals and our body does not react to poison. Glad they finally found a natural way to solve the problem.

  • Mike

    There is overwhelming evidence that Marijuana has medicinal value. It is ABSOLUTE NONSENSE that this is classified as a schedule 1 drug in the state of Iowa!

  • The Phantom

    I am glad that those with a true need can use the medicine they need to ease their pain and suffering. I agree that they should be able to obtain and transport the OIL as with any other medicine. But look what is happening in CO. I do not want to legalize recreational marijuana in Iowa These are two separate items one is a medicine and the other a lifestyle. Let me ask a question Rev Green ya got bad nerves and need a big fatty to calm down, right?

    • bjertbjaeger

      Actually not much at all is happening in Colorado except for increased revnue according to the actual numbers. Although there have been several laughable attempts to pass off extremely drunk drivers as drugged drivers for the purposes of propaganda that got shredded soundly in the press.

      So which column are you in anyway, naive or dishonest?

      By the way, if you’re concerned about cannabis use, you must having a stroke knowing the most dangerous drug in Iowa is one you’ve been subsidizing for years.

    • bjertbjaeger

      By the way, if you had a brain at all you’d know Ray has testified before the legislature in regards to his having MS. Maybe you should get out from behind your computer more, the world appears to be going past you at an alarming rate.

      • The Phantom

        Man I must have struck a nerve bjertbjaeger, Chill out and light one up, dude. Considering the quantity of posts you make everyday it is clear you have no life or career to speak of but that is no reason to take out your frustrations on me. I was just stating that I do not support the movement to legalize and there has been increased crime in CO with pot shops being hit for all the cash they carry as they cannot deposit the moneys. My guess you work in a e-cig shop and play D&D all day with your clan. Have a good day

  • revraygreen (@revraygreen)

    If there were 20 bottles in the box. $7400 ……..

    http://www.ladybud.com/2014/04/02/cannabis-and-my-kid/
    APR 2, 2014
    Cannabis and My Kid: Making Our Own THCA Medicine for Pediatric Epilepsy
    When my son Calvin was two, he suffered a forty-five minute seizure. The emergency medication that the hospital staff had administered seemed to be having no effect. In my research of epilepsy I had read that the longer a seizure lasts the harder it is to stop, so my husband Michael and I, fearing Calvin’s impending death, sat helplessly at his bedside kissing him goodbye. Seconds later, the seizure stopped.

  • Matthew

    I am so happy that Harli is finally getting the relief she deserves!! It is a social injustice that all the roadblocks have been put up, denying medical patients the right to a highly effective medicine. Cannabis should not be classified as a schedule 1 drug and the federal government needs to change it yesterday!!

  • revraygreen (@revraygreen)

    2-10-15 The penalty for possessing marijuana for a first-time offender would be significantly reduced under a bill that won near unanimous approval by the Senate Judiciary Committee.
    Would you support such a change?
    Senators voted 13-1 to approve a measure that would change current Iowa law so that possession of five grams or less of marijuana would be a simple misdemeanor

    “This is just another effort to try to look at alternatives to incarceration,” said Sodders. “This is a smart on crime measure that helps ensure our limited law enforcement resources are more available to pursue violent criminals.”

    • John Smith

      I think there are still certain jurisdictions in which the LEOs prefer making pot arrests to pursuing violent criminals. Same with the prosecutors and courts. In fact, I seem to recall a county attorney who funded several public works in his county by extorting “donations” from those arrested with minor amounts of marijuana by promising not to prosecute.

      So, I’m afraid I would expect legislators supporting such a measure would meet a lot of resistance.

  • Edie Veerman-Frank

    Hate to say this but Minnesota is light years ahead of Iowa even though they began the hemp oil debate at the same time. On July 15th of this year, there will be about 6 or 7 dispensaries open. Two growers were selected one of which is Bachman Florists in the Twin Cities. I hope it will be possible to get a prescription in Iowa and have it filled in Minnesota. By the way, it helps many other ailments other than just seizures. The literature is available online for those with an open mind. It might help to start with Dr. Dennis Hill who has a PHD in biochemistry and worked at MD Anderson in Houston until he retired. He then moved to California where he was diagnosed with an aggressive stage 3 prostrate cancer. If anyone had seen the results of chemo and radiation, it was he. He took marijuana for about 3 months and then switched to hemp oil. After six months, no tumors could be detected so he continued another couple months to kill any remaining cancer cells left which would not be shown on a scan. In the 3 to 4 years since, he continues to take one dose each month for preventive maintenance and is in remission. I hope Iowa wakes up soon to realize all the possibilities. I tell my husband who was born in Minnesota and supports all those sports teams up there that it is a natural law of nature that “hawks eat gophers” but he will not never believe it even though he has lived in Iowa over 40 years. In this one case, however, I believe that Minnesota is ahead of Iowa. Let’s lobby our legislators and see what can be done now that they back in session. Thanks.

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