FLORIDA: When Moriah Barnhart’s 2-year-old daughter Dahlia was attacked by intense tremors, fever and nausea in May 2013, she rushed the girl to a Tampa emergency room. A week later, after surgery for an aggressive and cancerous brain tumor, Dahlia couldn’t eat, walk or talk.
Three weeks later, her left side partly paralyzed, Dahlia was moved to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis for experimental treatments. She soon stopped breathing, a device had to be implanted in her skull to drain excess fluid, and her chemotherapy drugs had spread sores throughout her mouth and gastrointestinal tract. Subsequent treatments caused nerve and brain damage, vomiting and weight loss.
Barnhart was determined to save her daughter’s life, but she agonized as the child struggled with pain and sickness. “You want to save your child. That’s your first and foremost instinct,” she said. “But after watching them suffer for so long it becomes a question of quality of life.”
Finally, after six months, Barnhart decided to try alternative treatments, ordering whole-plant extract cannabis oil sent to St. Jude’s and giving it to her daughter through a syringe. Dahlia, her mother said, awoke the next morning with a regular appetite after sleeping for more than a few hours for the first time in her life.