Heather Shuker of Pittsburgh was scheduled to speak at a recent hearing on medical marijuana at the state Capitol. However, her speech to the Law and Justice Committee about why she supports Senate Bill 1182 had to be given by somebody else.
Heather's daughter Hannah, who has intractable epilepsy, suffered a severe seizure before the hearing. She was rushed to the hospital and released later that day. As the family was traveling home on the Turnpike, Hannah took another turn for the worse.
"She suffered from 30 seizures total. We got to one of the rest stops and called 911 and they Life Flighted her here to Hershey. That was the worst I have ever seen Hannah. I literally thought that may be the day that she died," Heather Shuker said.
Heather says her daughter has run out of treatment options and she believes medical cannabis could help stop her daughter's seizures. She has documented her daughter's struggles in a YouTtube video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=97uhkI5IVaw.
"We never know which seizure is going to take her life," Shuker said.
Four years ago, Hannah was running, talking and laughing. Now, the 10 year old can only lay in a bed. She is nonverbal and can no longer walk. She continues to suffer from hundreds of seizures a week.
Heather says hundreds of Pennsylvania families have already moved to states where medical cannabis is legal.
"Everybody says to me, 'why don't you just pick up and move?' and if we all do that who's going to stay back here and fight? We need this so desperately to save there lives," said Shuker.
Hannah has been discharged from Penn State Hershey Medical Center is at home recovering.