A teenage girl suffered a series of strokes that left her brain damaged and paralyzed after smoking “synthetic marijuana” that she bought from a gas station.
Emily Bauer, 17, has also been unable to see since December when she smoked the “fake weed” with friends – prompting her family to launch a campaign to ban the substance.
At first, Emily, from Cypress, Texas, thought she had a migraine and decided to lie down. But she then suffered the strokes, which put her into a psychotic-like state, according to CNN.
She urinated on herself, hallucinated, ran into walls and became violent.
After 24 hours, with her family worried that she had not come down from the drug, they called police to put her into an ambulance and take her to Northwest Cypress Hospital.
Doctors induced her into a coma to perform tests on her brain, and discovered the strokes had caused severe vasculitis.
This is where the contracting blood vessels had constricted the flow of blood and cut off oxygen to her brain.
The vessels soon began to expand again, but it put pressure on her brain, leading surgeons to drill a hole in her skull and insert a tube to relieve it.
Her family were told she would never recognize them again, or ever have the use of her arms or legs.
It led her parents to decide to take out her breathing tube and stop feeding her on December 16 – but miraculously she fought and one day told her mother that she loved her.
Despite knowing that their daughter may never fully recover, they have now decided to raise awareness of the dangers of “fake weed” – often called “potpourri” – and try to make it illegal.
They have launched a non-profit organization called Synthetic Awareness For Emily.
The herbal mixture is doused in chemicals and is said to trigger a high that is similar to smoking marijuana, reports the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
Her stepfather Tommy Bryant told CNN: “We want to let kids and parents know about the warnings signs: migraines and withdrawal.
“We all know the warning signs of alcohol and cocaine, but with this synthetic weed stuff, it’s so new that nobody knows about this stuff.
“We want to let other parents know about this so they don’t have to go what we’ve been going through.”