Charlotte Figi, a Colorado teenager whose personal health journey helped pave the way for more widespread acceptance of medical marijuana, has died of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, The Denver Post reports. She was 13 years old.
Charlotte was born with Dravet syndrome, an illness that causes severe, frequent, and prolonged seizures. However, at the age of 5, not long after Colorado legalized medical marijuana, Charlotte’s parents began treating her with cannabidiol, or CBD, a compound derived from the cannabis plant that, unlike its counterpart THC, doesn’t produce a “high” in the users.
Charlotte’s health improved almost overnight, according to her family. Her mother, Paige Figi, explained to the Denver newspaper at the time about the almost-miraculous recovery the young lady experienced.
“Charlotte slept soundly for the first time in years. She went seven days without a seizure. Over time, the seizures dropped from thousands a month to just a few. After not speaking for six months, she started talking again,” Paige Figi said.
Charlotte’s family was one of innumerable “cannabis refugees” — that is, individuals and families who moved to Colorado to take advantage of its marijuana laws, both to treat their own conditions and the conditions of their children.
As for Charlotte herself, the high-CBD strain of cannabis from which her medicine was derived was named “Charlotte’s Web” in her honor.
Unfortunately, though Charlotte found relief from her chronic illness through cannabis, she was unable to survive the coronavirus pandemic.
In a Facebook post, Realm of Caring, an advocacy group that focuses on medical cannabis, announced the young girl’s passing.
“Charlotte’s story directly impacted thousands of families across the globe and has changed the face of cannabis in many ways,” the group wrote.
Similarly, on a Facebook page belonging to Charlotte’s mother, a family spokesperson announced Charlotte’s passing.
“Charlotte is no longer suffering. She is seizure-free forever,” the post reads.
As of this writing, neither the State of Colorado nor El Paso County has officially confirmed the death of a juvenile of Charlotte’s age from COVID-19. Charlotte would be the youngest person in Colorado to have died from the deadly pandemic, as of this writing.
The conventional wisdom among the medical community is that COVID-19 is deadliest in the elderly and in people with underlying health conditions. However, healthy teenagers have not been spared from the virus. For example, as reported by The Inquisitr, a 16-year-old Parisian teenager who was otherwise completely healthy died of COVID-19 in late March.