Charlotte Figi, the little girl who inspired millions of people around the world as she and her family launched a movement that led to sweeping changes in marijuana laws and was the inspiration for the strain Charlotte’s Web has died due to complications related to coronavirus.
Speaking for her family, a friend announced Charlotte’s death on the Facebook page of Charlotte’s mother, Paige Figi.
“Charlotte is no longer suffering. She is seizure-free forever. Thank you so much for all of your love,” read the post, which also asked the public to respect the Figi’s family’s privacy.
Charlotte, who was 13, suffered from Dravet Syndrome, a rare drug-resistant epilepsy that begins in the first year of life in an otherwise healthy infant.
Over the past several weeks, Paige Figi and her partner Greg Lafeliece had been posting updates on social media pages about how the coronavirus had torn through their home and had seriously affected everyone in the family, ultimately sending Charlotte to the hospital.
“Charlotte will be fine, I’m sure of it. She hasn’t been inside a hospital in like nine years. And she didn’t successfully navigate 13 years of Dravet Syndrome and The War on Drugs just to die from a cold,” Paige Figi wrote on April 4, although she noted that Charlotte was suffering from something that was “so far from a cold.”
One day prior to Charlotte’s April 7 death, researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a report, which indicated that children seem to be largely unaffected by the deadly coronavirus and so far make up a small percentage of confirmed cases.
As in the case of adults, children who fared the worst were the youngest and those with underlying health conditions, like Charlotte whose epilepsy became evident when she was 3 months old.
Throughout her early years, Charlotte suffered hundreds of seizures a day, small and large. By the time she was five, Charlotte had nearly lost her ability to walk and talk and required a feeding tube.
When pharmaceutical treatments had proven ineffective, Charlotte’s parents began to research the use of cannabis oil after hearing about other successful cases.
Charlotte’s Web CBD Cannabis Strain
Paige Figi sought out Joel Stanley, owner of the Colorado Springs medical marijuana dispensary, who along with his six brothers, developed a high-cannabidiol (CBD), low-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) strain that proved effective in treating seizures.
In honor of Charlotte, the Stanley brothers named their CBD product and their Colorado-based company, “Charlotte’s Web.”
Charlotte’s story took on global significance in 2013 when Dr. Sanjay Gupta made a documentary about her as the first installment of CNN’s “Weed” series.
Now, upon Charlotte’s untimely death, expressions of grief and support for her family are flooding into her family’s social media pages from around the world.
“Our hearts break for the Figi family. This Angel literally changed the world, and our family, forever. Praying for comfort,” wrote David and Mandi Cromar who relocated to Colorado several years ago from Utah to be closer to Charlotte Figi and the medical cannabis that kept her alive.
Rest in peace, Charlotte.