(Feb 2015) Brandy & Tres Johnson: A Miracle Story Part II

The doctors lack of faith did not keep Brandy from continuously searching for a cure.  Since there are no doctors who are sure of how to treat Tres, Brandy takes it upon herself to do her own research and not take no for an answer.  While taking college classes and simultaneously doing her research on cannabis, Brandy came across the story about Charlotte Figi who saw dramatic decreases in the amount of seizures she experienced daily after taking the cannabis extract, Charlotte's Web. 

She began to realize that Charlotte's Web was a miracle drug that was limited in production and still not legal.  However, she received a website to purchase CBD drops from that she decided to allow Tres to try.  Immediately, Brandy noticed an improvement in Tres conditions when his seizures dropped from having 300 or more seizures to only having 12 seizures in the first month of taking the cannabis oil.  Tres did not have more than 300 seizures for six months; and this unheard of improvement occurred while Brandy was not giving Tres the proper dosage!  Imagine if he was given the right dosage consistently...

 Tres and his dad, Josh.

Tres and his dad, Josh.

With all of these hard decisions and life changing events, Brandy's husband, Josh, is her confidante.  Josh "brings home the bread" while Brandy stays home to take care of Tres full time.  To them, it works out best that way because they know more than anyone else how to take care of Tres.  He sometimes misses doctors appointments when he has to work and their other two sons worry about their brother while they're at school.  "My kids know more about seizures and epilepsy and they probably know more about cannabis than most adults," Brandy says.  

Brandy and Josh always make major decisions together before acting on them.  It has been a major issue being able to get the proper cannabis oil to treat Tres which has led to the husband and wife to desire to move to Colorado.  Moving right now for the Johnson family would be expensive after experimenting with every possible medication for Tres so in the meantime, Brandy and Josh have become activists for cannabis.  They have gone to the capitol of Missouri to testify at a few hearings regarding the matter.  Brandy has met with a few Senator's and representatives to discuss her son's need, as well as other children and adults needs, for cannabis oil.  She has always made it an effort of hers to talk to people about cannabis, educate them and hear their views on the topic.  "I think one of the biggest issues is that this topic is so taboo and it's so stigmatized that a lot of people are just scared to talk about it," she says.

 Tres and his brother.

Tres and his brother.

Brandy's other boys are not developmentally challenged and are extremely over protective of their brother, Tres.  Kids, as we all know, can be horrible bullies to each other but Tres has a family that will always stick up for him.  Brandy and Josh were blessed with two angels that understand their brother's condition and will never let anyone talk bad about their brother in their presence.  At just four years old, Trent stopped his pre-school class from laughing at Tres, claiming, "Yeah, that's my little brother!  Got a problem with it!?"  Tres' brothers don't get jealous of him getting more attention however, it does get frustrating for them when their parents may have to miss school functions and other events because they're at the hospital or at home taking care of Tres.  Everyone in the Johnson family willingly makes their sacrifices for Tres.

 Tres' 10th Birthday

Tres' 10th Birthday

Brandy isn't bothered by negative feedback about giving Tres cannabis oil for treatment.  She has been criticized since the day he was born therefore, at this point, it doesn't bother her.  The doctors didn't expect Tres to live as long as an hour after birth yet, Tres will be turning 11 in March.  It might have taken her a while, but she has gotten to the point that she is able to respond to negative commentary as informatively and less invasively as possible.  Fortunately, her approach has led a lot of non-believers to change their views on cannabis.  She admits that before Tres, she most likely would have never thought about giving cannabis to her child.  There are Johnson family members who use medical cannabis for arthritis, but she never thought of cannabis as an oil derivative.  After almost experiencing renal failure (kidney failure), Brandy took Tres off of all of the pharmaceuticals he was taking.  His seizures have not altered however, his functionality is noticeably better.

On a good day, Tres will experience around 300-480 seizures, anywhere for 12-20 seizures in an hour.  Although to us, it may sound like a lot but for Brandy, it's better than it was and she keeps a very optimistic mindset when it comes to her son.  Brandy is still searching for physician that she is confident and comfortable bringing Tres to.  "My faith in physicians is like that of a mechanic… Yes, I know they are qualified and I have every respect for what they know and the services they provide.  But they are inhibited by laws and regulations that sometimes prohibit them from best treating a patient by diagnosis."  Brandy feels it is important to be proactive in researching medical issues for ourselves because we cannot expect others to do so.  

Brandy has started a PayPal that is linked to Tres' account.  If you would like to donate to Tres to help his family move where cannabis oil is more accessible, search for brandynicolejohnson@gmail.com.   You can also donate to Tres' Colorado Fund on GoFundMe by clicking here.