After a couple weeks of serious migraines, Emily Bauer's boyfriend called her parents on the night of Dec. 8 to say she was unusually sleepy.
"When she woke up, she didn't recognize him. She was kind of bumping into walls (and) very incoherent. It took four, almost five grown men to get her in the ambulance," said her father, Tommy Bryant.
Bryant remembers his daughter was strapped down, then intubated.
Once they arrived at the hospital, he says her boyfriend came clean, telling ER doctors about the synthetic marijuana she had used.
Labs revealed a series of strokes and the brain damage was thought to be irreversible.
"We didn't want to be selfish parents and be like, 'Well, hey, as long as Emily's in that bed, we're going to hang on.' Our thing was if she's never going be able to say, 'Hello, Dad, I love you,' I didn't want her to suffer," Bryant said.
A few hours after Emily was taken off life support, she was still breathing.
Her dad detailed the beginning of her miraculous recovery starting the next morning.
"At 6 a.m., my wife calls me and she said, 'Hey I just told Emily I loved her and she said, 'I love you' back,'" Bryant said.
He hurried over to the hospital to see it for himself.
"When I walked in the room, I was like, 'Hey, Emily, I love you,' and she was like, 'I love you too, Dad,'" Bryant said.
Four months later, she is no longer on a feeding tube. She is talking and eating on her own.
"I'm just happy to be still here and able to talk and see as much as I can," Bauer said.
Her vision is still impaired, her memory still spotty, but she remembers buying the synthetic pot at a gas station.
"They knew me, so they sold it to me," Bauer said.
After months of rehab, Emily has yet to walk. She is still highly dependent on her parents but she has a message for other teens.
"They don't realize that this could happen to them and it could just be terrible and they wouldn't be able to like do stuff on their own as I would love to do," Bauer said.
Her family has since started an organization called SAFE4Emily to raise awareness about the dangers of synthetic pot.
They've also started a Facebook page where users can share their experiences anonymously, in hopes these testimonials from other teens will impact kids and prevent them from using.