The Wooton family was out of hope with no answers in sight. Rita and Rick Wooton’s son, Eli, was robbed of the first five years of his life battling a rare form of epilepsy, causing around the clock seizures. No medication or surgery could help save little Eli’s life. With a medical file much larger than most adults, the Wooton family was told there was no cure for Eli’s condition — until they were introduced to the extraordinary healing powers of hemp.
The Beginning of Eli’s Seizures
Eli’s story started in 2010. Eli was the beautiful baby boy with the same full head of red hair and looks of Rita’s late mother. The first few precious moments of Eli’s life were soon replaced with a growing concern for his health. Rita noticed at the time Eli was born, his left hand was bent back and stiff though the doctors didn’t think much of it at the time. After a few hours, Rita noticed he was shaking. The doctors still didn’t think much of it, but Rita continued to monitor him. At two weeks old, Eli stopped breathing. Doctors couldn’t find anything physically wrong with him, and he was sent home. Several weeks after that, the Wooton family’s life would change forever.
At 16 weeks old, Rita and a friend were driving when Eli had his first seizure in his car seat. Rita recalls the terror from that day hearing her friend yell from the backseat, “He’s not breathing!” This was Eli’s first full-blown generalized tonic-clonic seizure (GTC). GTC seizures are considered one of the most severe types of seizures where the person loses consciousness and stops breathing. Eli was rushed to the hospital where he was given Diastat, but the seizures still didn’t stop immediately. Eli’s seizure continued for up to two hours despite receiving medication. This would be Eli’s first of hundreds of visits to the hospital.
The Wooton family spent months trying to get answers from doctors. One hospital visit after another and multiple medications still didn’t help Eli. Doctors couldn’t provide the Wooton family with answers they needed to help their son. By the time Eli was only eight months old, he had several hundred seizures without any emergency rescue medications to stop them. Rita and Rick felt helpless and were desperate to know what was going on with their son.
The Search for Answers
Eli’s pediatrician recommended that he visit a neurologist at Cincinnati’s Children’s Hospital. On the way to his first visit, Eli had six GTCs in the car, lasting anywhere between 4-15 minutes each.
When Eli arrived at the hospital, his neurologist asked to do an EEG to capture the seizure while they were happening. Eli fell asleep, and as he was waking up, he had a back to back seizures, giving the neurologist the answers she needed. The neurologist discovered that Eli has a paper thin corpus callosum and atrophy on the right side of his brain. The corpus callosum acts as a barrier so that abnormal signals can’t move from one side of the brain to the other.
With Eli’s corpus callosum being so thin, there is no barrier for abnormal signals to block this unusual activity. Also, the neurologist found that Eli has an untreatable type of epilepsy called intractable epilepsy. The neurologist knew this because most people that have seizures can take one or two medications, and the seizures will stop. No medicine had ever helped him.
When Eli was 13 months old, he was admitted to the hospital to see if he was a candidate for brain recession surgery. Despite running several tests, doctors could never find the precise spot where the seizures started. Eli was not a candidate for surgery. The Wooton family continued to search for a way to help their suffering son.
At this point, the only answer was to have a vagus nerve stimulation device (VNS) implanted in Eli’s chest. A VNS is similar to a pacemaker and used to treat seizure when no other medication or surgery is effective. Shortly after this, Eli has his first stroke at three years old.
Eli’s seizures continue. In June 2014, Eli seizing was so severe that he was flown on an emergency jet to Cincinnati’s Children’s Hospital from Hyden, KY. The next and only option would be to put Eli in a medically induced coma so that his brain could rest. The doctors decided they’d first give him Ativan, and if he began having a seizure again, they would put him in a medically induced coma. As soon as the nurse pushed the Ativan, Eli had another seizure.
Rita knew then there was nothing they could do for Eli. “I knew we were in trouble; I knew it. I dropped to my knees and was praying and crying. I said Lord you got two options: you either take him right now and let my mom take care of him because this is no quality of life for him to live or you leave him and you fix this,” says Rita Wooton. “I didn’t know what else to do. I had done everything I knew to try to help him and fix this. It wasn’t happening.”
Hope Started With Hemp
In 2015, Eli graduated from kindergarten and a local news station covered the huge milestone. Shortly after, Rita received a Facebook message from Chad Wilson, Green Remedy’s VP of Farm Development. He had seen Eli’s story on the news and thought he knew how he could help him.
Green Remedy is a Louisville based hemp hemp-extracted CBD company established in 2014. Hemp-extracted CBD comes from a hemp cannabis plant and is 100% legal. Unlike marijuana, hemp-extracted CBD oil has no psychoactive effects due to much lower levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) at .3% or less.
Hemp-extracted CBD works with the body through the endocannabinoid system (ECS) that regulates the body’s normal homeostasis or general state of balance. Studies have shown that hemp-extracted CBD may help with pain and inflammation reduction, anxiety relief, sleep, immune system health, and more.
Chad wanted to talk to Rita about using hemp-extracted CBD to help with Eli’s seizures. “I figured it should have been a fifteen or twenty-minute conversation, but I think we talked for four hours. Chad was so sincere and passionate about our son,” Rita Wooton said.
On July 6, 2015, Eli took Green Remedy hemp-extracted CBD for the first time, and they haven’t looked back since. Within two days of taking hemp-extracted CBD, Eli was able to communicate for the first time in his life. “Mommom, bye-bye, and car” were some of the first words Eli spoke.
Best of all, Eli’s seizures stopped. Four years later, Eli continues to take Green Remedy hemp-extracted CBD daily. On December 17, 2018, Eli had a new VNS implanted in his chest. Times before when his VNS was turned off he had seizures. This was the first time that he was seizure free during the procedure.
Hemp-extracted CBD has finally allowed the Wooton family to meet their son. Before using hemp-extracted CBD, they had never known anything about him. Now he is an entirely different child. He loves to read Peppa Pig books, play football, and hang out with his friends at school. Green Remedy hemp-extracted CBD has also given Rita and Rick their lives back. The many days and nights that were spent in the hospital can now be spent living a normal life.
Eli’s Hope Foundation, Inc.
Eli’s Hope Foundation, Inc. was established to give back to families in Hyden, KY faced with similar situations as the Wooton family. From groceries to medical bills, Eli’s Hope strives to spread light amongst the community that helped tremendously during such a devastating time in the Wooton family’s life.
In honor of the Wooton family, Green Remedy has formulated the Eli’s Reserve hemp-extracted CBD line. For every bottle purchased, Green Remedy will donate 25% of the purchase price to Eli’s Hope Foundation, Inc.