On bad days, Kara Zartler slams her fist into her face 3,000 times. Over and over, uncontrollably inflicting pain on herself. Three. Thousand. Times.
Kara, 17, suffers from cerebral palsy, and autism. By the age of 4, she exhibited self-injurious behavior and by the time she reached 6, the self-abuse became a daily occurrence. Her parents, Mark and Christy Zartler, tried everything to provide relief for their daughter, a twin whose sister is healthy.
They tried antipsychotics. enzymes and sleep aids — nothing the doctors prescribed failed to put an end to the misery. Until one day, Mark’s beer-drinking neighbor buddy threw out the idea: Why not try medical marijuana?
“We were truly at a crossroads,” Mark told The Fresh Toast. “We live in Richardson, Texas (a suburb north of Dallas) and we knew it was illegal. But we felt there was no other choice.”