CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Remember Haley Ward? This now 8-year-old was the face of the political journey to make CBD oils - a strain of medical marijuana that can't get you high - legal in North Carolina. The name of the bill was "Hope for Haley."
Two years later Haley's mom says CBD oils worked for her daughter.
But not without stress.
Sherena, a beautiful single mother who works her tail off to help her sick child, had to change the doses and type of CBD oil a few times.
Many of you came to love Haley when CBD oils were in the news every week. I featured her here often. For no real reason other than I can't believe it has been two years, I thought it was high time to check back in. See how she's REALLY doing with the drug.
Here's a summary:
1) Haley started on the pharmaceutical version, Epidiolex.
2) That's what was recommended in the original NC law.
3) It was a trial drug with artificial flavoring.
4) The flavoring knocked Haley down; she got really sick.
5) Sherena says she took her daughter off it after five days.
6) Sherena then tried Charlotte's Web.
7) "CW" is an all-natural version of CBD oils made in Colorado.
8) WBTV News sent me to Colorado to look into "CW" and the company that makes it, Realm of Caring.
9) Before this oil, Haley was having ten seizures a day.
10) This oil took her down to 40 for the week.
"Success for sure," Sherena said. "But something in me wanted to try a different version. Call it a mommy-instinct."
11) Sherena researched.
12) In May of 2015 she started Haley on Palmetto Harmony
13) That's a South Carolina company making CBD oils.
14) I featured them in a TV story in 2015.
15) Sherena says her daughter went down to two seizures a week.
"It was absolutely amazing", Sherena said.
The amazingness was temporary.
"This past February Haley started having seizures again," Sherena said. "I realized the oil can get built up in your system. I took her off everything for two days, went to smaller doses and got her back on track."
What's her overall take as a mother?
"CBD oils are different for each person. Each batch can be a little different in how they work," she said. "We've had our ups and downs but THE BEST THING IN THE WORLD is you never have to call a doctor and say, 'Hey, what do I do??'"
Sherena says she uses extremely low doses.
"As a mom I feel comfortable keeping track of her medication and knowing I can change it if I think it should be changed," she said.
I'd like to point out – as I always do – CBD oils are still not FDA-approved.
With that said, I still hear from parents across the state trying the oils. Almost every week. Some say they work. Some say they don't. Like Haley - some parents say things can often change. Everyone who reaches out says they appreciate having the option to try.
I'm sure you guys remember how much hope was wrapped up in that CBD oil law... how much rejoicing went on when it signed into law... and the sadness when it was clear the law was a failure. Governor Pat McCrory did amend it a year later. What remains on the books is something that technically allows CBD oils for particular patients if a doctor gives permission, with restrictions.
Quite honestly, from those I talk with, very few people care if they're going about getting them "legally".
(Here is where I always put my warning about never, ever get on Amazon or Google and buy some version of "CBD oils" where you don't know what's in them. Never. Please. There are scam companies just trying to make money. I've heard 100 stories. Be smart.)
Sherena is honest that CBD oils aren't a "miracle drug" for her daughter, but they sure are a better situation than what she was in before she Haley on them.
A) She and Haley still live in Carteret County along the coast.
B) All Haley's hardware was removed from her hips in April.
C) (See picture below in comments.)
D) She was invited to watch the U.S. Navy Blue Angels practice.
E) Haley LOVED it. (Another picture below.)
I think a solid update is long overdue.
Thank you, Sherena, for letting us once again hug Haley through a post and a photo. She looks great.