CYPRESS, Texas â€“ Hospital staff removed Emily Bauerâ€™s breathing tube and stopped all medication and nourishment at 1:15 p.m. December 16. Only morphine flowed into her body, as the family waited by her side in her final moments.
But the next morning, she was still alive.
â€śGood morning, I love you,â€ť her mother told Emily as she approached the bed.
A hoarse voice whispered back, â€śI love you too.â€ť
Emily was back.
Her family said the drug that landed the Cypress, Texas, teenager, then 16, in the ICU two weeks earlier wasnâ€™t bought from a dealer or offered to her at a party. It was a form of synthetic weed packaged as â€śpotpourriâ€ť that she and friends bought at a gas station.
At first, her stepfather, Tommy Bryant, said he was â€śfixing to whip somebodyâ€™s a**,â€ť as he thought someone older than 18 bought it for her.
Bryant already knew she used real marijuana occasionally. â€śItâ€™s not that I condoned it,â€ť he said, adding that he couldnâ€™t follow her around all day. Bryant enforces a strict no-smoking rule in the house, and said that if he ever caught Emily smoking, sheâ€™d be grounded.
â€śHad I thought that there was any chance that she could have been hurt by this stuff, I would have been a lot more vigilant. I had no idea it was so bad,â€ť Bryant said.
â€śIâ€™d never have thought weâ€™d be in this situation. If she had bought it off the street or from a corner, thatâ€™s one thing, but she bought it from convenience store.â€ť
Best known by the street names â€śSpiceâ€ť or â€śK2,â€ť fake weed is an herbal mixture sprayed with chemicals thatâ€™s meant to create a high similar to smoking marijuana, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Advertised as a â€ślegalâ€ť alternative to weed, itâ€™s often sold as incense or potpourri and in most states, itâ€™s anything but legal.