Charlotte Figi, young girl who pioneered medical marijuana for epilepsy, dies of coronavirus complications

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Wednesday, April 8, 2020
In this Feb. 7, 2014 photo, Matt Figi hugs and tickles his once severely-ill 7-year-old daughter Charlotte at a grow location in the mountains west of Colorado Springs, Colo.
AP Photo/Brennan Linsley, File-AP

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- Charlotte Figi, a girl with a rare form of epilepsy whose recovery inspired the name of a medical marijuana oil that drew families of children with similar health problems to Colorado for treatment, has died, according to the nonprofit organization founded by her mother.

A representative for Realm of Caring, the non-profit tied to Figi's cause, confirmed to ABC News that Figi's death was due to complications of COVID-19.

"Some journeys are long and bland and others are short and poignant and meant to revolutionize the world. Such was the path chosen by this little girl with a catastrophic form of epilepsy called Dravet Syndrome," an announcement Realm of Caring posted to Facebook said.

At age 5, Charlotte suffered as many as 300 grand mal seizures a week, used a wheelchair, went into repeated cardiac arrest and could barely speak.

With doctors out of ideas, her mother Paige Figi began calling medical marijuana shops. Her symptoms largely disappeared after she began taking an oil infused with a strain of marijuana with low THC, the drug's psychoactive ingredient.

The oil's name was changed to Charlotte's Web.

Her success led other families with children suffering from seizures to move to Colorado Springs before marijuana was more widely legalized in the United States.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.