A family has been left devastated after their 12-year-old daughter was placed in an induced coma after she tried vaping.
The Northern Ireland Chest Heart & Stroke (NICHS) group has now launched a new awareness campaign to emphasize the risks associated with vaping.
Mom Mary Griffin shared the terrifying moment her daughter Sarah was hospitalized.
“It was a Sunday night. Sarah said she didn’t feel great. She started coughing but given her asthma history, we attributed it to the change in weather. Her coughing wasn’t unusual, so she used her inhaler and nebulizer into Monday morning,” Mary said.
But her daughter’s condition worsened the following day and she requested to be taken to a doctor or a hospital.
Sarah was rushed to the Royal Victoria Hospital and was immediately moved to the ICU.
“The doctor showed me Sarah’s X-ray. One lung was badly damaged, overburdening the other, and exacerbating her asthma. Coupled with an infection, her body was under immense strain,” she said.
Because of Sarah’s condition, it was decided to put her in an induced coma.
“There were tubes, wires, and machines everywhere,” Mary said, adding that she felt powerless while trying to console her other children.
“Sarah had machines breathing for her. Every time doctors stabilized one vital sign, another would falter,” she continued.
After several challenges, the youngster was finally brought out of her induced coma.
“The doctors explained that vaping had weakened Sarah’s lungs, making her susceptible. If we’d waited any longer before getting her to the hospital, she might not have made it,” she added.
Sarah has returned home but the ordeal has left her traumatized.
“She still has a long road ahead, but we are grateful to have her home,” Mary added.
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