September 9, 2014 Covington - Kelli Hopkins gives medication for her special-needs daughter Mary Elizabeth, 21, at their home in Covington on Tuesday, September 9, 2014. Kelli and Mike Hopkins had three special-needs children who suffer from a seizure disorder that could be treated by a cannabis-based oil (A.K.A. medical marijuana) that is being considered by the Georgia legislature. Their 6-year-old son Abe passed away at the end of July when he had a seizure and stopped breathing. HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM
Photo: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC
Photo: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC

Woman’s death tied to seizures that marijuana bill aimed to treat

At least three Georgians have died from complications due to major seizure disorders since legislation failed last spring in the General Assembly to decriminalize cannabis oil, a marijuana derivative that families say drastically decreases the frequency of the seizures.

Mary Elizabeth Hopkins, 21, died from pneumonia Friday. She was the daughter of Kelli and Mike Hopkins of Covington, whose 6-year-old son Abe died in July after a seizure.

Respiratory problems are common with victims of these seizure disorders.

The Hopkins family has two more daughters, Michala, 16, who also has a seizure disorder, and Marlee Ann, 12, who is healthy. The family, which was featured in an Atlanta Journal-Constitution story in September, planned to move to Colorado soon, once they could raise money and find a home suitable for their children with disabilities.

The family could not be reached Friday.

Mary Elizabeth suffered from a mitochondrial disease that stunted her growth and caused countless seizures regularly. Abe had Gastaut syndrome, resulting in 20 to 30 seizures daily.

Union City native Trinity Sumlin, 11, died in September.

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