Charlotte Figi, a child advocate of medical marijuana, has passed away at the age of 13 this week from a possible case of COVID-19.
She had become the poster child for CBD oil years ago when she used it to control the constant seizures she had because of Dravet syndrome, a severe form of epilepsy.
As a toddler, Figi had experienced up to 300 grand mal seizures a week and had used a wheel chair. When she began using CBD oil for its benefits, the rate of her seizures were reduced.
“We are moved by the continual impact that Charlotte’s life has made shedding light on the potential of cannabis for quality of life,” her mother, Paige Figi, wrote on Facebook.
Paige said an initial test for COVID-19 came back negative, but as Charlotte’s condition worsened, hospital staff treated her as a “likely COVID-19 case.”
According to Paige, the whole family was ill for almost a month starting in early March but unfortunately did not qualify for coronavirus testing.
Charlotte was admitted to a hospital on April 3rd after her symptoms worsened and was administered the test. While the result came back negative, there are concerns that COVID-19 testing may return false negatives at high rates.
After being released from the hospital on April 5, Charlotte had a seizure two days later that resulted in respiratory failure and cardiac arrest, her mother said.
“Given our family’s month-long history with illness and despite the negative test results, she was treated as a likely COVID-19 case,” Paige added. “Her fighting spirit held out as long as it could and she eventually passed in our arms peacefully.”
“While we cannot speak to specific individual cases, there are no confirmed pediatric COVID-19 deaths in El Paso County,” a spokesperson for the county told BuzzFeed News