Amy and Ashley Stillwell have turned what could have been a negative experience into a crusade to help and educate others about synthetic marijuana.
Ashley was about to start her freshman year at Western Kentucky University when a friend convinced her to try the drug, which he told he was "safe" and was labeled "legal" on the package.
One hit of the substance, which goes by dozens of names, left Ashley paralyzed- unable to move but able to hear everything that was going on around her.
Several hours passed, and Ashley's friends began to discuss what to do with her body if she didn't come around.
When she did come around, Ashley had many missed calls and voice mails from her parents because she hadn't checked it, and she knew she had no choice but to tell them she was in trouble.
Her parents came to get her, and later that night she found herself in the emergency room where nurses were able to stabilize Ashley so she could go home.
The mom and daughter pair knew that they had to educate others about the dangers of the synthetic drug, and the pair began to travel around Kentucky to schools and youth groups to share their message.
Their cause has also taken them to the Anderson Cooper show, and led them to being advisers to Washington officials concerned about the rising epidemic of synthetic marijuana.
Locally, Director of the Bowling Green-Warren County Drug Task Force Tommy Loving says that the Stillwells were instrumental in getting a local ordinance passed against the drug.
Amy doesn't want any parent to feel the "fear" that she felt seeing her daughter in such peril, and Ashley doesn't want another person to be fooled by the drug.
The pair vows they will continue to fight until the drug is outlawed all together, which could take a while as chemists find new ways to produce the drug to bypass local laws.
For waging the battle against synthetic marijuana, we honor Amy and Ashley Stillwell as Hometown Heroes.