PARENTS
08/13/2013 12:11 pm ET

Dad Says Medical Marijuana Saved His 6-Year-Old Son From Severe Epilepsy

A California father says medical marijuana helped save his son, who suffers from a rare form of severe epilepsy.

Jason David, of Modesto, told CBS Sacramento's KOVR that his son, Jayden, was taking 22 different prescription pills and suffering more than 50 seizures every day when he was just 4 years old. Some of the worst seizures lasted an hour and a half. Jayden wasn't eating or sleeping, and he was in pain.

Jayden was diagnosed with Dravet syndrome when he was just a baby. Otherwise known as Severe Myoclonic Epilepsy of Infancy, Dravet syndrome is a rare and "catastrophic" form of epilepsy that begins at infancy. Aside from seizures, sufferers can experience developmental delays, balance issues, problems with speech, nutrition issues, problem sleeping and sensory disorders, according to the Dravet Foundation.

As his son's condition worsened, David questioned taking his own life. He prayed for help and ultimately turned to medical marijuana, according to local station KCRA.

In 2011, Jayden started taking liquid droplets of cannabidiol, a non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in marijuana. From there, things began to improve dramatically, the Los Angeles Times reported.

“One day after I came home from church, I gave it to Jayden and that was the first day Jayden ever went seizure free in his life,” the father told KOVR, adding, “It hasn’t been perfect, but it’s still 1,000 times better than we’ve ever had before. Now he can swim. I can throw him in the water. He can ride rides at Great America, be a child again. We missed so many years of his childhood.”

David is not the only parent to turn to medical marijuana. The father of 6-year-old Charlotte Figi said his family explored cannabis oil to help in his daughter's struggle with debilitating seizures. The Figi family saw a drastic improvement in the girl's condition.

Both the Figis and the Davids were featured in CNN chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta's documentary, "WEED," which aired Sunday on CNN.

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