(CNN) — Nine months after synthetic marijuana destroyed a large portion of her brain, Emily Bauer did something her parents feared they’d never see: She went back to high school.
Excited, nervous and terrified, the sophomore rolled through the hallways of Cy-Fair High School in Cypress, Texas, last week. Despite the familiar surroundings, Emily is living in a new world.
She can’t read or write. She is relearning basic addition and subtraction. A rotating cast of aides help Emily get through her school day. They wheel her from class to class, assist her in the restroom, help her eat, read class material to her and take notes for her, as she is partially blind. She attends school for half the day and goes to therapy in the afternoon.
And the 17-year-old has a message for anyone who wants to try fake weed.
"The high is great, but in the long run, it isn’t good," she said, describing her experience smoking synthetic weed. "It’s no fun to be stuck in a wheelchair, to have to go to therapy or (possibly) die."