Main photo: © Jennifer Kaczmarek/ Taking Focus, INC.
When Branden Petro was eight years old, he developed something called Febrile Infection-Related Epilepsy Syndrome (FIRES), a rare form of epilepsy that can trigger multiple seizures a day. His mother, Renee Petro emerged as a prominent force in driving Florida's medical marijuana legalization efforts as she desperately sought ways to help her son.
Renee and Branden were just wrapping up an interview with Tampa Bay's local ABC affiliate where Renee spoke about how medical cannabis had saved her son's life. Moments later, Branden began to seize and Renee sprung into action. Luckily, now that medical cannabis is legal in Florida after the November election, Renee is able to carry around a cannabis nasal inhaler. She was able to use it immediately on her son.
Within a few minutes, Branden's seizure had subsided and he was able to return back to his happy disposition and began laughing again. Up until November, Renee wasn't able to carry around the inhaler which meant her son's seizures would last much longer.
Renee was quoted during the episode by saying:
"He just recently went 30 days without a seizure, and the aggression, rage, suicidal thoughts, insomnia, has virtually gone away just by weaning him off of these drugs. Nothing is scarier than what I've witnessed as a mother with my child. Nothing is scarier than having to call 911 because my son is pretty much losing his mind from the side effects of his medication, nothing worse than having nine to ten sheriff's in my home. I am going to make sure he lives the best and happiest life he can period regardless of what that law or this law says.
Because, at the end of the day, I'm his mother and I know what's best for him."