Baby's Diagnosis Has Family Hoping for Medical Marijuana

Created: 04/25/2014 10:59 PM

(ABC 6 News) -- Some families in Iowa are still hoping lawmakers will approve a form of medical marijuana.  Thursday the Senate passed a bill allowing oil derived from cannabis.

The Bedtka's have a daughter who suffers from seizures, and believe medical marijuana will help.  Last month they went to Mayo Clinic and received a devastating diagnosis. They say Baby Aby has a disease that could kill her before she's even 10 years old.

At home, in her mother's arms is the best place for 9-month-old Aby Bedtka. But so far, she's spent 30 percent of her life inside a hospital.

During a recent stay at the Mayo Clinic doctors diagnosed Aby with Mitochondrial Disease.  A cell attacking disease that can be fatal for most children.

"It breaks my heart knowing that I might not have her until she's a teenager. It breaks my heart," Aby's mother Verona Bedtka said.

And while that diagnosis explains the seizures, it doesn't control them. Bedtka believes cannabis oil will.

When used medicinally, it's not smoked, and the THC is removed to prevent a high.

"Once the seizures are controlled and the pattern is off her brain, then she can start developing. Because this is her. This is how she is,"  Bedtka said.

The oil would have to come from another state. Opponents to the bill argue it sends a signal that marijuana is okay. But Verona says permission to access medical marijuana is way over-due. She says her child needs immediate relief.

"We're very thankful that it passed the Senate and now we just gotta keep fighting for it in the House," said Bedtka.

The Bedtkas have gone before Governor Terry Branstad and other lawmakers to share their story. 

The bill allowing medical marjiuana oil to treat seizures caused by a chronic form of epilepsy is in the Iowa House.