This Girl Named Alexis


Today I want to tell you of MY young HERO!!
 Her name is Alexis Bortell!
   Alexis was born in Rowlett, Texas in 2005 to her parents Dean and  Analiza Bortell, both disabled Veterans.  She also has a  beautiful  younger sister named Avery. In July of 2013 Alexis had her first   epileptic seizure. Alexis was diagnosed with life-threatening epileptic   seizures which is a disturbance in the electrical activity of the  brain  of unknown origins... this is generalized epilepsy.
   To treat the  Epilepsy the doctors gave her a regimen of the drug  Carbatrol Extended  Release 200mg tablets to be given twice a day. In  Dean's own words, “It  was like throwing gasoline on a fire.”!With the  introduction of this  drug, Alexis's seizures increased in frequency.  Obviously, there needed  to be a change of some sort with the  medication. At the request of the  parents, the medication was  evaluated. After evaluation the doctors then  decided to increase the  dosage for the Carbatrol. This caused some  catastrophic results. With  the increase of the medication, Alexis now  was having even more  seizures but also additionally, she was having more  than 1 type of  seizure as well. Although the symptoms of the epilepsy  were worse and  the seizures were worse, they were advised to stay the  course and let  the medication do its work.
  After about a month of  “letting the medication” work into her system,  Dean and Analiza took  Alexis to their primary care provider for a  second opinion. The primary  care provider immediately recommends a new  neurologist whose first  action was to put Alexis back in the hospital  for monitoring. After this  evaluation, the doctors then put Alexis on  250mg of Depakote twice a  day and returned her back to the original  dose of Carbatrol, 200mg twice  a day.
  With these medication changes, this is what her family had  to say “We  have also seen drastic changes in Alexis’s personality. Every  day at  about the time of each medicating, she goes through periods of  euphoria  or depression. It is as if we have traded the problems of  epilepsy for  the problems of the drugs given to combat it. Either way,  this quality  of life is not satisfactory or sustainable.”
  Now I  don't know about a lot of things, but I do know that Depakote  is not  recommended for children under the age of 18. Have you ever  looked at  the side effects of Depakote? Some of these include but are  certainly  not limited to: Hepatic failure, Birth defects, Pancreatitis   Hyperammonemic Encephalopathy, Suicidal behavior and Ideation, Bleeding   and other hematopoietic disorders Hypothermia Drug Reaction with   Eosinophilia and Systemic Symptoms (DRESS)/Multiorgan hypersensitivity   reactions and MANY MANY other side effects.
  As a parent, I can  understand the desperation of wanting your child  to not have to go  through so much of this. I would try anything to make  things better!
   So, one night Dean and his wife found Dr. Sanjay Gupta on a CNN   special about medical marijuana. Learning how cannabis might help their   daughter, they took her to a neurologists in Colorado where the plant  is  legal. There, they were told that it was the best medication for  their  daughter. Alexis obtained her “red card” in Colorado and now is a  legal  cannabis patient. But that is in Colorado. In Texas, where she  lives,  cannabis is still illegal. This is how Alexis and her family  became  medical refugees. Alexis and her family had to literally move  their  entire life to another state so that Alexis could get the medical   treatment she deserves. 

 No child or  family should have to pack  up everything they know, their whole life,  because there is a plant that  heals people that is not legal in one  area or another. Since Alexis and  her family moved to Colorado from  Texas, Alexis has actually been  seizure free for a good amount of time  now. She has adjusted to Colorado  life I am sure however, I know she  would love to see her grandparents  who are too elderly to travel. How  can she though? If she comes to  Texas, her medicine is not legal here.  Child Protective Services or  officers of the law would surely take her.  It's a real shame and  heart-breaker when there is this forced divide  between families. It's  one that should never happen.
  It personally makes me angry that  there is this plant out here that  does so much good, but LAWS are in  place to benefit the ones that make  money off of sicknesses. In Feb of   '18 Alexis sued Attorney General  Jeff Sessions regarding the  constitutionality of her right to medicate  with cannabis. In this  particular interaction with the federal courts, a  federal judge admitted  that cannabis has medicinal properties. 

For More info check out her Webpage at :