Mother: ‘My daughter died waiting’ for medical cannabis

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Grace was born a healthy baby girl, but at four months old things changed.

“Her first seizure lasted a grueling 45 minutes,” her mother Becky Witwer said.

Grace was diagnosed with Dravet syndrome, a severe form of epilepsy. One night the seizures were just too much for her little body.

“When I went to bed I found her,” Witwer said.

“She was blue and we had to do CPR. There were no signs of life, but I was just hoping,” her father Richard Witwer said. “It was too late.”

At just 20 months old, Grace was gone. Twelve days after she left this earth, her parents were back at the Capitol with a message. Crying behind a podium in the Rotunda, Grace’s mom pleaded with lawmakers to legalize medical cannabis.

“My daughter died waiting,” she said.

Grace’s parents were hoping to try medical cannabis oil, but they never got the chance. A bill to legalize it passed in the Senate but has stalled in the House.

“I want to ask the legislators standing in the way of the compassionate bill why wasn’t she worth it, why didn’t she deserve a chance? How many children have to die?” Becky Witwer said. “I will never get her back. I will never hear her laugh again, but others can be saved. Do not wait another day to pass this bill.”

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More than 100 amendments have been introduced to Senate Bill 3. House rules call for all amendments to be considered.

A source tells ABC 27 News that some lawmakers introduced amendments as a stall tactic while other amendments are a legitimate effort to improve Senate Bill 3.

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