On today’s Family Friday, we at ECHO are excited to share an update on Long Island seven-year-old Beyla Pagano, who for nearly three years has been able to ease her seizure symptoms with cannabidiol (CBD) hemp oil.
Born dangerously prematurely at just 24 weeks, Beyla was diagnosed with hydrocephalus, or the excessive buildup of cerebrospinal fluid in the brain. The condition caused Beyla to suffer from devastating epileptic seizures, starting at the age of two.
Doctors didn’t believe Beyla would ever be able to walk and talk, and in an effort to manage her pain and seizures they prescribed opioids and traditional antiepileptic medications that either caused an intense allergic reaction or left her in a comatose-like state.
“They were doping her up like a vegetable, she was laying on the couch lifeless,” Craig Pagano, Beyla’s father, told NBC New York earlier this summer.
Craig and Erin, Craig’s wife and mother to Beyla, turned to CBD hemp oil as a last resort. CBD is an all-natural non-psychoactive compound found in the stalks and seeds of plants like hemp. Within the first month of treatments, the family noticed positive changes. Beyla is now able to walk and talk, and the frequency of her seizures has dropped dramatically.
“It was the first thing that brought her out of her waking coma and allowed her to be a regular little girl,” said Craig.
Craig and Erin now give Beyla two milliliters of CBD hemp oil per day, typically with a scoop of ice cream.
Gina Caracciolo, who uses CBD herself to manage chronic pain, was the lead emergency room nurse at Stony Brook University Hospital when Beyla had to be rushed in after her first seizure. She continues to have a close bond with Beyla and the Pagano’s ever since that day.
“[With CBD], she was able to function again,” Gina said. “Her personality was beginning to shine through again. It really was pretty amazing to see. It was also amazing to see her neurology team embrace the fact that this treatment was working, and I remember the hospital even allowing the Paganos to bring her CBD oil in so that the nurses on the admitting units could administer her the CBD oil as a non-formulary medication.”
Beyla is about to have her 69th neurological surgery. While she and her parents continue to face trying times, we at ECHO are excited that CBD has helped bring hope and lead to a better life for Beyla.
ECHO connects families facing special circumstances with the healing properties of CBD. If you or someone you know could benefit from cannabinoids, read about how to become an ECHO Sponsored Family and what to know when applying.