Tiffany Wigginton Carnal is in the fight of her life to save her daughter.
Lyndi Carnal, 17, has Crohn’s Disease, an inflammatory bowel disease that causes inflammation of the lining of the digestive tract, which can lead to abdominal pain, severe diarrhea, fatigue, weight loss and malnutrition. Lyndi was diagnosed when she was 14. Since that time, she and her mother have spent three Christmases, three New Year’s Days and countless other days at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.
The medications Lyndi has taken to control the Crohn’s and subsequent pain have negatively impacted her heart, kidneys and liver. Lyndi has also had her colon and rectum removed. The medications to control the pain keep Lyndi sedated and unable to function. One of her medications, Dilaudid, is a strong opiate that can be addictive.
“These medications are making children drug addicts. Lyndi has gone through withdrawals,” Tiffany Carnal said. “Lyndi was once a cheerleader and a beauty pageant winner, she won all over the state. Now she is bed-ridden and not able to function. As a parent, I have to ask, ‘How can I help my child?’ ”
The answer, according to Carnal, is illegal.
“I started doing my own research and learned that medical marijuana can help children who have Crohn’s Disease,” she said. “However, this is illegal in our state.”
The Carnals reside in Williamstown, Kentucky, where the use of marijuana, even for medical purposes is against the law. In 2016, Sen. Perry Clark introduced Senate Bill 13, a bill that would end marijuana prohibition for adults in the Commonwealth and create a regulated and taxed system. The legislature adjourned, however, without taking action on the bill. The bill — Cannabis Freedom Act — to legalize medical marijuana use in the state, will be presented to the legislature in 2017.