In 2014 Kristyn Pratt King was a healthy mother in the greatest shape of her life. One evening, in her regular kickboxing class, she noticed her hands were going numb. She didn’t think much of it, and continued on with her training. As she was walking to her car to return home to her husband and two year old boy, she noticed her sensory awareness changing. “I noticed I was having tunnel vision. I didn’t feel safe driving, so I went back into the studio to ask for a ride home.’’ Once inside, she fell unconscious. Luckily, a woman waiting for the next class to begin was a nurse. “She administered CPR on me, and someone called the ambulance” she said.
Once she arrived at the hospital, they could not sufficiently help her. “I was defibrillated 13 times. They worked on me from 7:30 pm that evening to 4:00 am the following morning, just trying to keep me alive. They then packed me on ice, and helicoptered me to Cedars Sinai in Los Angeles.”
She had 22 heart attacks and a stroke that evening. It is a miracle that she is alive. She continued her stay at Cedars for 7 months; 3 of which she was in a coma. During her coma Kristyn became septic, and had to have her right leg amputated above her knee. She also lost sensation in her left leg. “All the nerves in my left leg died,” she said. She then developed hospital-acquired pneumonia. “Only 2 out of 6 patients with this diagnosis generally survive. I also had hundreds of experimental surgeries and procedures done at Cedars.”
She finally had a successful heart transplant in November of 2014. “I was basically institutionalized for over a year. I was in isolation for one year after my transplant”. It was then, in 2015 that she started using medical cannabis. “I needed a gateway drug besides Norco to help get me off of Methadone, Dilaudid, and Gabapentin. I needed to get off these drugs but was still in horrific pain. I knew nothing about cannabis when I started using it, and my doctors couldn’t help. So I learned by trial and error. Cannabis basically helped me get back to life.”
Kristyn continues to benefit from medicinal cannabis today. It has helped to alleviate her anxiety and nausea. She uses sublingual strips, “If I didn’t have sublingual cannabis strips I would have ended up in the ER much more often. I used 20-40mg of these strips for migraines caused by anti-rejection meds. They also alleviated nausea and vomiting so I could keep the medications down. Otherwise I’d end up back in hospital for another dose,” she shared. The plant also helps her sleeplessness. “Heart transplant recipients are known to get about 4 hours of sleep each night. I can get 6 to 8 hours with the help of medical marijuana” she noted. She was taking a 1:1 THC:CBD capsule each night before bed. “I found this pill also helped soothe my digestive tract.”
She now takes a 1:1 CBD Alive capsule each day, and a 10mg THC capsule before sleep. Kristyn also mentioned that Breez Sublingual Tablets in 55mg THC and 55mg CBD help tremendously for anxiety, as well as around 10 pulls from her hybrid cartridge of Chemistry’s Sour Dream. She also finds a lot of value in Emu Gold 420 cream. “It helps with horrendous nerve pain in my remaining foot, skin breakdown, heat rashes, and with scar itching.’’
When asked if she noticed any difference in her personality (which happens sometimes with heart transplant recipients), she said, “Yes, for sure. I am not sure if it’s from the transplant or the entire experience, but I do have different food and music preferences that my donor also liked.”
This incredibly courageous woman had to endure so much. Her will alone is an inspiring testament to what real strength is. Though her story is very unique, she is one of many who have substantially improved their quality of life with medical cannabis.
Thank you Kristyn, for sharing your story.