When Amy Bourlon-Hilterbran’s son Austin was born, he seemed perfectly healthy. As a baby, Austin loved playing guitar and his parents had hopes that he’d someday become a musician. But at four years old, Austin began having hundreds of seizures every day and was eventually diagnosed with Dravet Syndrome, a catastrophic form of Epilepsy. Austin’s life was never the same. For a decade, Austin was given a dangerous mix of opioid-based medications that had horrific side effects and left him near death multiple times.
Amy and her family had nearly lost all hope.
Amy and her family had nearly lost all hope when they decided to flee Oklahoma and move to Colorado for one last attempt at saving Austin’s life. The opioids Austin had been taking for a decade were shutting down his organs and time was running out. Her husband Jason, a firefighter, was skeptical, but she made the trip regardless in search of answers and relief for her son. In Colorado, Austin immediately started to respond positively to cannabis treatments and his life has been fundamentally changed as a result. Today, Austin can go weeks or months without a seizure and while his condition is still fragile, he is able to live without medications that were doing harm and without damaging, potentially lethal seizures.
Amy is active in the medical refugee community and is starting a nonprofit that helps other families make the journey to states that allow for cannabis treatments for their children. She believes the time is now for every parent to legally access cannabis so that other people won’t have to suffer through what she and her family have endured. Amy wouldn't wish that on any parent and will fight until the laws are changed.