Jaelah Sue. Image from Facebook.


Indiana CPS Drops Case Against Family Giving Daughter Hemp Oil for Epilepsy

Health Impact News

An Evansville, Indiana couple has had the medical care of their toddler taken over by Riley Children’s Hospital in Indianapolis, and Indiana Child Protective Services (CPS).

Jade and Lehla Jerger, parents of Jaelah Jerger, sought answers for more than 8 months for their daughter’s “uncontrollable jerk of her body.”

When a neurologist at Riley Children’s Hospital diagnosed her with epilepsy, they began to research the best treatments for their daughter.

A Chiropractic Neurologist began treating Jaelah with CBD oil (also known as “Charlotte’s Web Hemp Oil”), and reportedly at the lowest dosage they saw a reduction in seizures from 50+ a day to 2-4 a day.

CBD oil is derived from industrial hemp, and is not psycho-active due to almost no THC (the chemical that makes one “high”). It was made famous through national TV exposure from Dr. Gupta Sanjay’s CNN documentary “Weed,” featuring a young girl’s struggle with a life threatening type of chronic epilepsy called Dravet’s syndrome. Her name was Charlotte Figi and she was experiencing hundreds of seizures weekly.

The sale of industrial hemp is legal in all 50 states, and if the CBD oil is also derived from industrial hemp (different from marijuana), it is also legal. Apparently, law enforcement and other agencies in Indiana have not yet figured this out, as WTHR Channel 13 in Indiana recently reported .

However, this treatment with CBD oil was allegedly not received favorably by doctors at Riley Children’s Hospital, as the parents note on their GoFundMe page:

We found a Chiropractic Neurologist who would treat Jaelah with CBD oil. A healthy alternative method with virtually no side effects. AND IT WORKED! On the lowest dose, we saw a reduction in seizures. From 50+ a day to 2-4 a day! The results were amazing!

However, the doctor’s at the children’s hospital in Indy did not agree with that method. We were told we were killing our daughter because we are not treating her.

We told them we wanted a second opinion, so we went to another pedicatric neurologist.

On Thursday 9/14, we took her to see one, who agreed to keep her on the CBD oil, but also wanted to add a low dose of Keppra in addition to hopefully get Jaelah seizure-free. Jade and I were still reluctant, but we agreed to try it. We started the Keppra and cut all ties with the neurologists at the children’s hospital in Indy.

Since we started the Keppra, we already noticed a difference in our daughter’s behavior. She cries all the time, she gets upset easily, and she hasn’t eaten as much as she usually does. She’s not the same Jaelah. We will continue the Keppra until our new neurologist can monitor the reduction.

And here comes the problem, the children’s hospital in Indy reported us to CPS because we are not treating our daughter. CPS is forcing us to give our daughter the Keppra. They are forcing us to get our daughter’s blood drawn weekly to show proof that we are giving her the Keppra. We have no choice in the matter. If we do not comply, they will get a court order and remove our daughter from our home.

WEVV Channel 44 News has picked up the Jerger’s story here, and Indiana for Medical Freedom has also issued a press release on the Jerger’s situation.

Huntingburg, IN Family Fights For Medical Rights For Their Daughter With Epilepsy

Indiana for Medical Freedom
Indiana For Medical Freedom
Contact: Melissa Sfura, President and Co-Founder

44 News, Evansville journalist, Jeff Goldberg broke the story here. One of our over 2,000 informed and thoughtful parents brought this to our attention yesterday, Sunday, September 24, 2017.

Since that time, our organization has researched the forced pharmaceutical, Keppra, and found several concerning issues. You can read the package insert yourself here. We found the following information:

  • Not approved for kids under age 6 (this “toddler” doesn’t even look 2 years old)
  • Only studied in 24 kids and they were all older than age 6
  • No one even knows how this drug works
  • All the double blind studies were done on adults
  • Contraindications include: “If you are worse on this drug, stop taking it”
  • Meant to be used in adjunct therapy (not primary)
  • Side Effects include: renal failure, suicidal thought and infertility (as the informed and concerned father mentions in the news article)

Press Release

An epileptic Evansville toddler’s medical care was taken over by Indiana CPS last week over a dispute in medical treatment. The Jerger family seeks public support in reestablishing parental rights for their sick toddler, Jaelah, despite cooperating with their physician.

Jade and Lehla Jerger, parents of Jaelah Jerger, say their daughter suffers from epilepsy and can have up to 100 seizures a day. KEPPRA, a common seizure medication was prescribed by a physician affiliated with Riley Children’s Hospital in Indianapolis, but according to Jaelah’s family, the medication did not reduce the number of daily seizures and, in fact, came with serious side effects that included trouble eating and sleeping and increased irritability. The family maintains they were cooperative with doctors and gave her the medication as prescribed.

According to the manufacturer package insert page for KEPPRA, this medication is not FDA approved for children under the age of 6 and is primarily used as an adjunctive therapy. Side effects can include: renal failure, infertility, suicidal thoughts and warns that those who worsen on this drug should cease taking it and talk to their physician.

Desperate to give their daughter some relief, Jaelah’s parents decided to try CBD oil, a somewhat new alternative treatment for epilepsy, in addition to the medication prescribed by her physician. CBD oil is  derived from the cannabis plant but is legal in the state of Indiana and does not require a prescription.

Jaelah’s parents say her seizures decreased from 100 per day, down to around 2. Jaelah’s physician did not agree with this experimental treatment and called CPS, who removed Jergers’ rights to oversee their daughter’s medical care, citing medical neglect. Jaelah must submit to weekly tests to prove she is taking the prescribed medication. Noncompliance could result in Jaelah being removed from her home.

Now the Jergers are fighting the state to resume medical decisions on Jaelah’s behalf. Now under state care, Jaelah is being forced to take a medication that may not be best for her condition.

Source: Jeff Goldberg, 44 News, Evansville http://44news.wevv.com/family-fights-childcare-decision-making/

Indiana For Medical Freedom condemns this overreach into the lives of thoughtful, loving and informed parents that are within their rights per Public Law 188, which allows the use of CBD Oil for seizures in Indiana. Indiana For Medical Freedom condemns any forced medical procedures, pharmaceuticals and biologicals in Indiana or anywhere else. Indiana For Medical freedom respectfully demands the Jergers’ CPS file be immediately closed and any and all medical decision rights be immediately returned to the parents, as we believe parental rights are fundamental and supreme.

Additionally, we have been on the phone with the legislative assistant to an Indiana state senator that is working on this important matter with many other state senators.

The Jergers aren’t backing down. They’re within their legal rights. The use of CBD oil for seizures is legal, disagreeing with your doctor is legal, seeking a second opinion is legal. Forcing parents to give their children medication, treatments or procedures is something that Indiana For Medical Freedom opposes.

Our support goes to the parents and we will rally behind them for whatever they need at this time. According to the “Justice for Jaelah” Facebook page here and current GoFundMe (which we’ve advised will probably be taken down, because you can’t ask for donations for attorney fees), this all started when parents went against the recommendations of Riley Children’s Hospital in Indianapolis and severed the relationship. The hospital then reported the parents to CPS for “medical neglect.”

CPS intervened on September 20, 2017. Parents are now supposed to submit to weekly blood draws at Memorial Hospital in Evansville, Indiana to prove they’re drugging their baby with medication never approved for her age. They’ve been advised by their attorney and state senator to “proactively fight” CPS and Riley Children’s Hospital.

Indiana for Medical Freedom.

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