Tsavkko Garcia, Raphael
Publication year: 2020

Theo, a 14-year-old living in Rio de Janeiro, suffers from a type of epilepsy that causes absence seizures—brief lapses in awareness. “It’s not exactly those seizures that we know where the person falls to the ground, but they are challenging and difficult to control and have an impact on his quality of life,” Theo’s mother, Rita Carvana, told Filter. Theo was diagnosed when he was 12. The first drug prescribed by his neurologist had little effect. Neither did the second. Carvana decided to try medical cannabis. There were many difficulties in obtaining it; “few neurologists in Brazil prescribe,” she said.

It’s difficult to buy medical marijuana in Brazil, and difficult to maintain the course of treatment—the oil is very expensive. Carvana says she used to pay the equivalent of nearly $400 per month.

Carvana managed to pay for the treatment for almost a year, suffering from the devaluation of the Brazilian currency to import it. In March 2020 she went to court to force her health insurer to cover the cost. In May, she won. Today, her health care plan covers both types of extract that Theo uses: isolated cannabidiol and full-spectrum.

Full article at Filter Magazine’s website. Date of publication: 14/12/2020.

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