17-year-old girl left brain damaged after smoking synthetic marijuana

Emily Bauer left severely disabled after smoking a product she purchased from a petrol station

A 17-year-old girl has been left brain damaged, blind and paralysed after smoking synthetic marijuana and suffering a series of strokes.

Emily Bauer, from Cypress in Texas, was left severely disabled after smoking a product that she purchased from a local petrol station.

Ms Bauer purchased the substance last December with friends, but around 15 minutes after smoking it, told her boyfriend she had a migraine and needed to lie down.

She subsequently suffered a series of strokes that left her urinating on herself, running into walls and suffering violent hallucinations.

Her sister Blake told CNN that the police had to be called to help restrain her and get her to Northwest Cypress Hospital, where she attempted to bite medical staff.

“We thought once she comes down off the drug, we'd take her home and show her the dangers of this drug,” her older sister, Blake, said.

“We didn't think it was as big of a deal until 24 hours later she was still violent and hurting herself. We realized you're not supposed to stay high this long.”

Ms Bauer was put into a medically induced coma, as tests revealed the strokes had caused severe vasculitis – a contraction of blood vessels that restricts blood and oxygen reaching the brain.

Ms Bauer’s stepfather Tommy Bryant told CNN: “In four days' time, we went from thinking everything is going to be OK and we'll put her in drug rehabilitation, to now you don't know if she's going to make it”.

The teenager showed initial signs of improvement, but pressure on her brain grew to dangerous levels and she required a hole drilled in her skull to relieve the burden.

Around 70 per cent of Ms Bauer’s brain was considered ‘dead’, and when doctors told her parents she would not be able to recognise her family and would never be able to use her arms or legs again, they opted to take out her breathing tubes and stop all nourishment.

Ms Bauer continued to fight however, and her condition has steadily improved. She even managed to tell her mother she loved her at one point during the early stages of her recovery.

Although she knows where she is and recognises the voices of family members, Ms Bauer is still considered highly confused.

Although she still suffers paralysis, she has recently started moving her arms and legs and even started eating solid food in the last fortnight.

Synthetic marijuana is usually an herbal mixture doused in chemicals and marketed as Spice or K2, although there is no indication that Ms Bauer consumed either of these particular brands.

To get around legal complications, synthetic marijuana is often labelled as potpourri or incense. When a particularly variety is banned, manufacturers simply change the chemical compound, allowing it to return to the shelves.

Ms Bauer’s family have set up a non-profit organisation to make teenagers and their relatives aware of the dangers of synthetic drugs.

For more information about Synthetic Awareness For Emily, visit www.facebook.com/safe4emily.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Photographer / Floorplanner / Domestic Energy Assessor

£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Photographer/ Floor planner /...

Ashdown Group: Front-End Developer - Surrey - £40,000

£30000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Front-End Developer - Guildford/Craw...

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Assistant

£13500 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Customer Service Assistant is...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive - OTE £35,000

£16000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An ambitious and motivated Sale...

Day In a Page

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence