Controversial plant helping family heal

Hemp is one of the oldest domesticated crops

EVANSVILLE, In. (WEHT) – One Kentucky family thought they had reached a dead end. Doctors said there was no medicine that could treat their young son, Eli Wooton, of his severe epilepsy until they learned of the healing powers of one controversial plant.

“I would just go over to the bed side and all I could do is cry,” said Eli’s mother Rita Wooton, “and pray ‘Lord, you have two options: you either take him right now because this is no quality of life for him to live, or you leave him and you fix this.'”

The Wooton family was at a dead end with no hope in sight. No medicine or medical treatment could cure Eli of his severe epilepsy.

But little did they know their hope would sprout up from the ground, and the cure they had been so desperately looking for would come from a natural plant.

Hemp is one of the oldest domesticated crops known to man and it is no stranger to Indiana. In 1930, it was the third largest crop grown in the state. And in 1940, there were six hemp processing plants in Indiana alone.

Hemp was outlawed in 1970  because it is a cannabis-based plant that contains low amounts of THC commonly found in marijuana.

“But the difference is in the THC and the fiber and quality of the stalk,” said Wilson. “But the main thing is the 0.3 THC, and there is no psychoactive effect.”

Hemp is a renewable resource that can be used to make food fuel and fiber and now has healing abilities that are shocking the nation.

Eli is now 7 years old. Two years ago, he couldn’t talk or get through a day without having dozens of seizures. He was battling a rare form of severe epilepsy.

“The doctor comes in, and we talk,” said Rita. “And at this point, Eli has probably had 70 or 80 seizures in like 12 hours, and we had did loading doses of Dilantin. We did Nezelverstat but they never stopped.”

Often Eli would stop breathing during seizures leading to countless emergency room trips but still no improvements.

“That one particular year, we made 25 trips to Cincinnati Children’s,” said Rita. “Five Life-Flights and 17 admissions. There was nothing else in the medical world that could be done for him there is no cure for this.”

That is until a Louisville, Kentucky based company known as Green Remedy heard Eli’s story and stepped in.

“I called and said ‘Look, I’m Chad with Green Remedy,'” said Chad Wilson. “‘Please don’t think I’m crazy.’ I said ‘I grow hemp’, and she started crying and she said ‘You’re going to help my baby, and I’m sorry but this is real for me.'”

“We were willing to try anything,” said Rita, “because we knew Eli’s life was on the line.”

Amazingly, after using just one treatment of oil extracted from hemp, Eli began to speak. Not only did he speak, but his seizures stopped.

“Two days after we started the medicine, we got words,” said Rita. “The first time I ever heard him say ‘Mom’, he was 5 and a half years old.”

Since beginning CBD oil treatments, Eli has not had a seizure in two years bringing not only his family but his doctors to tears.

“They were like in awe,” said Rita, “even Dr. Mangonna, a big strong man that we love. He was crying and in tears.”

“Today, all he wants to do is when he gets home from school is play football,” said Eli’s father Ricky Wooton. “He has about 50 or 60 footballs. He loves to play football.”

Despite the large number of people CBD oil has helped in Kentucky, it is still illegal in Indiana. But only recently, Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb signed legislation to allow doctors to prescribe CBD oil to patients. This new legislation opened the door for Hemp Life Industries to become the first hemp business to open in southern Indiana.

“We are hoping to open a brick and mortar location here in the next few months,” said Anthony Skinner of Hemp Life Industries, “so we can spread it as wide as we possibly can that legislation is a total boom for the industry itself.”

Though this new legislation is a step in the right direction, the Indiana Hemp Industries Association says there is still a long way to go to make other uses of hemp legal.

“We have farmers saying we are ready to grow it tell us what we can do to help,” said Indiana Hemp Industries Association Executive Director Jessica Scott. “They are waiting and ready to grow. It represents nothing but opportunity for the Indiana farmer and consumer.”

The new Indiana law goes into effect on July 1.

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