The Colorado child who helped spark medical marijuana research has died after a battle with coronavirus, the local Fox affiliate reports.
On Tuesday night the family of Charlotte Figi posted a statement on Facebook revealing that their loved one has passed.
"This is Nichole writing to update you for Paige, Greg and Matt," the post reads. "Charlotte is no longer suffering. She is seizure-free forever. Thank you so much for all of your love. Please respect their privacy at this time."
Neither the state nor El Paso County has announced that her death is the direct result of COVID-19. Last week, the family said Charlotte had been hospitalized due to the virus. They explained that the whole house was infected by the virus about a month ago. Everyone made a full recovery from the illness except Charlotte, prompting them to admit her to the hospital.
"Most of the house recovered well from a month of virus but our little Charlotte hasn’t improved. She had a couple days where she seemed to turn the corner but then she took a dive," a Facebook post from April 3 reads. The family then reported on April 5 that Charlotte was discharged from the hospital.
If it is confirmed that Charlotte passed because of coronavirus, then the 13-year-old will be the youngest person in the state to have died from the illness.
Charlotte and her family are some of the "medical marijuana refugees" who moved to Colorado after the state's legalization of cannabis. At the time, Charlotte was a young child who was diagnosed with Dravet syndrome. This is a form of epilepsy that causes prolonged seizures and is hard to treat with regular medicine. The Figi family realized that cannabidiol (CBD) counteracts these seizures allowing her to sleep through the night.
"Charlotte slept soundly for the first time in years. She went seven days without a seizure," Charlotte's mother Paige told the Denver Post at the time. "Over time, the seizures dropped from thousands a month to just a few. After not speaking for six months, she started talking again."
This prompted the Charlotte’s Web Medical Hemp Act of 2014. This bill named after Figi helped pioneer nationwide medical marijuana research. Her parents went on to lead a nationwide campaign about the positive impact of CBD. There is also a strain of medical marijuana and CBD oil dubbed "Charlotte's Web" after Figi.