Reviving Bruno: A Day in the Life of a 5-Year-Old Florida CBD Patient

For Jacel Delgadillo of Miami, Florida, having access to medical cannabis meant having access to her son. Delgadillo’s 5-year-old son, Bruno Stillo, was born with a rare, incurable, and debilitating genetic form of epilepsy called Dravet syndrome, or Severe Myoclonic Epilepsy of Infancy (SMEI). When the condition was at its worst, Bruno endured up to 300 seizures a day. In 2013, Jacel traveled to Colorado to seek information about treating Dravet syndrome with cannabis oil. While there she met Dr. Sanjay Gupta, who was in Colorado filming his CNN documentary Weed 2. Bruno began using medical cannabis oil to mitigate his seizures. With the oil, Bruno averaged one to two seizures per week.

Delgadillo was eventually able to register Bruno in a Phase 3 drug trial that allows him to take a form of cannabidiol (CBD) being developed by GW Pharma specifically to treat children and young adults with Dravet syndrome. He’s currently receiving treatment as part of that trial.

Bruno has gone from being a vegetative and non-responsive child to an active, curious and aware five-year-old. “It’s like magic now,” Delgadillo says about how attentive Bruno has become. “I honestly thought before that he didn’t know I was his mom. I feel like he knows now.”

Delgadillo has been an outspoken champion of medical marijuana legalization and a co-founder of the group Cannamoms, which supports and advocates for chronically ill children whose conditions may be helped by medical cannabis. Eleven days before Florida votes on Amendment 2, a statewide measure to legalize medical marijuana, photojournalist Scott McIntyre spent a day with Jacel and Bruno, documenting their joys and struggles.

In Delgadillo's home, everyone does their part to take care of Bruno. Here, her stepfather Mario Vallecillo plays with Bruno before helping to get him in the car for therapy in Miami, FL on Friday, October 28, <strong>2016</strong>. (Scott McIntyre for Leafly)In Delgadillo’s home, everyone does their part to take care of Bruno. Here, her stepfather Mario Vallecillo plays with Bruno before helping to get him in the car for therapy in Miami, FL on Friday, October 28, 2016.
As part of being issued the investigational drug with cannabis oil, Delgadillo has to keep track of her son Bruno Stillo's seizures while taking the drug by calling into a service to mark his progress. By Scott McIntyreAs part of being issued the investigational drug with cannabis oil, Delgadillo has to keep track of her son Bruno Stillo’s seizures while taking the drug by calling into a service to mark his progress.
Jacel Delgadillo, left, greets fellow parents and <strong><a href=doctors as she, her son Bruno Stillo, 5, and his nurse Idania Gonzalez arrive at B&V Thera-Pro for Bruno's therapy sessions in Miami, FL on Friday, October 28, 2016. Delgadillo dressed her son up as a doctor to play along for Halloween. Bruno goes to therapy three times a week for speech/feeding, occupational, and physical therapy. Since he began using medical marijuana, he has steadily improved in all areas of his therapy, when before there was not much progress. (Scott McIntyre for Leafly)" width="840" height="525" />Jacel Delgadillo, left, greets fellow parents and doctors as she, her son Bruno Stillo, 5, and his nurse Idania Gonzalez arrive at B&V Thera-Pro for Bruno’s therapy sessions in Miami, FL on Friday, October 28, 2016. Delgadillo dressed her son up as a doctor to play along for Halloween. Bruno goes to therapy three times a week for speech/feeding, occupational, and physical therapy. Since he began using medical marijuana, he has steadily improved in all areas of his therapy, when before there was not much progress.

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