BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – When we last talked with the Wertman family when they lived in Hamburg, then 9-month-old Joey was suffering as many as a hundred seizures a day. He has a rare form of epilepsy called “Infantile Spasms.”
The family sent News 4 a video showing the little boy eating his first dose of medical marijuana, which is being used in an effort to get Joey’s seizures under control.
“He likes it. It’s going to help you buddy. We’re going to give you some more food,” said Joey’s father, Joe.
Joe is finishing up as an emergency room nurse at Mercy Hospital. His wife and three children have moved to Phoenix, Arizona, where medical marijuana has been legalized.
The family says the results have been significant.
Joe said, “This is the fourth day. Normally he probably would have had, at the worst case, he probably would have had 400 seizures, and he’s had five. We’ve never really had a true reduction in seizures. And so this is something, this is something that’s working.”
The little boy’s parents get the marijuana in a ground-up form. This product is called “Harvest of Tempe.” It has to be carefully measured and mixed, in this case with pear, carrot, or apricot baby food, so Joey will accept it.
“I mixed it in there, and my wife put it in his mouth and he ate it. It looked like he was chewing the marijuana a little bit and he was smiling, happy, and he took it down great,” Joe said.
Though now 10-month-old Joey is doing much better, moving to a different state has been difficult for the family.
Last month, Joey’s mother, Brittany, said, “I’ve lived here my whole life and I’m very close to my family and my sisters and my parents, and it’s just…but we have to do it. This is the most important thing in the world. We have to make him better.”
Joe added, “This is something that’s working, and it’s frustrating to think…if we could have done this nine months ago, or seven months ago, when we’ve tried everything that we’ve tried, and nothing worked. You know, if we could have tried this seven months ago, where would we be?”
The cost of Joey’s medical expenses are extensive. If you would like to help the family, you can make a donation here.
Joe leaves for Phoenix for good on Sunday. He already has a job lined up.