Synthetic marijuana are chemicals mixed with herbs that is supposed to give users a "high" similar to smoking weed. It is illegal in Texas and can often be very harmful, if not deadly.
Wednesday night, 17-year-old girl is fighting for her life after smoking synthetic marijuana with a group of friends. Her friends may be okay, but the drug had a very different effect on Emily Bauer.
"A few hours later, it just had a bad reaction. She woke up hallucinating, not really able to stand up on her own, she had no equilibrium, and was just freaking out," Phillip Bauer, the teen's uncle, said.
Phillip admits his family has been on an emotional roller coaster since his niece started having seizures and multiple strokes since Dec. 7, 2012, when doctors put her on life support. They told her parents she would most likely die from the substance.
"Told us she wasn't going to make it," Phillip said. "She had 90 minutes to live. They took her off life support and like eight, nine hours later, we're all still standing there like, what's going on?"
The 17-year-old pulled through and was breathing on her own before she was able to speak a few words.
"She was whispering, ‘I love you,' and she knows who we are, which is something the doctors said she would never understand," Phillip said.
He admits Emily has come a long way, despite a few setbacks.
"She believes, possibly, she's not even 17 right now. She thinks she's maybe 14," he said.
He is referring to her mother's prognosis since she has been at her daughter's bedside, posting updates on the Facebook fan page for SAFE, Synthetic Awareness for Emily. The group is trying to jump-start an effort to raise awareness about the dangers of synthetic marijuana so this does not happen to anyone else.
"This can happen to anybody. Its chemicals that they're putting in it to sell it over the counter, it's aimed at kids or adults who can't buy alcohol and want a different kind of high."
A benefit for Emily will be held on Jan. 19 at the Mezzanine Lounge off US 59. All proceeds will go towards the teen's medical bills and rehabilitation.