'I'm glad that I'm a living example rather than a dead one'
SHERWOOD, Ore. -- Cassidy said it was supposed to be fun.
"Every kid that I knew in Sherwood was doing it," she said.
Even though her mom had talked with her about drug dangers, Cassidy took a couple of fingernail-sized tabs of the synthetic hallucinogen known as 25i Friday afternoon. She said 17 other teens did it too.
Walking down the street, the high became a hellish nightmare.
"At that point I started seizing and I stopped and I fell and I hit the concrete," Cassidy said.
"It was really painful, and after waking up from it my entire body was stiff and tense and it hurt to move," Cassidy recalls. "And I don't remember actually having the seizure. I had blacked out."
One of Cassidy's teachers, who had EMT training, was driving by, saw her seizure, stopped to help and call an ambulance. At the hospital, doctors shocked Cassidy's heart after it stopped beating.
"I was gone for about forty-five seconds to a minute and I... I don't know exactly how that happened, but I am extremely lucky to be alive today," Cassidy said.
The case surfaced Friday evening when an off-duty sheriff's deputy driving on S.W. Woodhaven Drive in Sherwood spotted a 16-year-old girl having a seizure on the side of the road, according to a news release from the Washington County Sheriff's Office. Two other teens were with her.
As deputies stopped and rendered aid to the girl, the other 17-year-old girl began having a seizure.
Both girls were taken to Providence Hospital in Newberg.
The Drug Enforcement Administration outlawed the drug 25i and similar compounds in November, adding it has been linked to 19 deaths.
Cassidy's mom Rachel couldn't believe the news. "I kind of momentarily panicked," says Rachel, "and then I got in the car and went straight to the emergency room."
Rachel and her daughter both say she'd had all the talks about avoiding drugs, but that's not enough.
"Where there's a will, there's a way," said Rachel. "But we'd like to focus the will in a better direction, I think. So education's a huge, huge thing."
Cassidy plans on being more honest with her mom, and won't touch that 25i ever again.
"I'm glad that I'm a living example," Cassidy said, "rather than a dead one."
A girlfriend with Cassidy also took the drug and also suffered seizures. Cassidy says a teenage boy also had to be hospitalized with hallucinations after taking 25i.
Another teenage boy who was with Casside and her friend, is in juvenile custody, and under investigation for allegedly giving the girls the drug.