ROUND ROCK, Texas — A child's birthday party can be a pretty big deal. But for one Round Rock family, this year's is especially important.
Their 2-year-old with special needs is growing and developing in ways they haven't seen before, and the family said it is because medical cannabis is making a breakthrough.
There’s more to celebrate on Zaraiah Crouch’s birthday than just turning 2.
“We’re celebrating her life that she’s still here with us, that she’s moving forward and beating the odds,” said her grandmother and legal guardian, Cyndee Bailey-Bryant.
It has also been 6 months since Zaraiah had her last seizure. Her family and friends gathered Sunday to mark the milestone. The 2-year-old was born with several, rare brain disorders, which have caused physical and developmental problems.
She used to experience anywhere between 75 to 150 seizures a day. Her epilepsy medications eventually stopped working, so doctors upped the dose causing serious side effects. The drugs made her lethargic and unable to do therapy consistently.
“During that time if she’s knocked out, she’s not learning anything, you know, she’s not able to be awake to learn the things that she should be, you know, learning through therapy,” Bailey-Bryant said.
Her grandparents then learned about cannabidiol. They now give Zaraiah two doses of hemp oil a day, which has low levels of the chemical THC.
“She’s sitting straight up, you know, she’s reaching, grabbing things,” said grandfather and legal guardian, Jeremy Bryant.
“She has just flourished with the HempMeds," Bailey Bryant said. "She has her own little personality now, can communicate, she can say words, form sentences, of course, they’re of her own.”
Every change, every smile and every giggle has given the family hope. They’re imagining a brighter future for Zaraiah.
“We don’t really put a number per se on her development, it’s one day at a time for us with her and each little milestone is just great and wonderful just as if were young a child without special needs," Bailey-Bryant said.
ECHO Connection is helping this family receive the CBD treatment. The nonprofit offers education and charitable support to families of children with disabilities or special needs.