Mother sounds warning after 12-year-old daughter's vaping habit leaves her in coma with 'very weak lungs'
Mary Griffin shared her experience for an awareness campaign, explaining that vaping played a part in sending her daughter Sarah to a coma
BELFAST, UNITED KINGDOM: A devastated mother has sounded a warning about the dangers of vaping after her 12-year-old daughter was put in an induced coma after becoming ill.
Mary Griffin of Belfast shared her experience as a part of Northern Ireland Chest Heart & Stroke's (NICHS) vaping awareness campaign, explaining that her daughter Sarah's coma was caused in part by vaping.
Mary Griffin shares daughter's dreadful ordeal
Mary's daughter began to feel unwell and started to cough while she was getting ready for bed, but because she had asthma, they blamed the change in weather, as reported by Ladbible.
The following morning, however, as Mary was dropping off two of her children at school, Sarah called to ask her to return home because she was feeling under the weather.
After receiving her inhaler and nebulizer, Sarah "seemed to settle," so Mary ran to the store. However, she received another call from the 12-year-old, who said she needed to see a doctor or go to the hospital.
Sarah's oxygen levels were critically low
Mary later received a terrifying call from the child's father informing her she was taken to the Royal Victoria Hospital with "very low" oxygen levels.
She said, "The next thing I knew, Sarah’s dad phoned me to say Sarah was in Resus. I went to the hospital, and Sarah was just in a blind panic, she was terrified. She was on oxygen and was linked up to all sorts of machines."
She added, "There were medical staff all around her assessing her and they said she needed to go to ICU as she was deteriorating very quickly."
Sarah's lungs were 'badly injured'
That meant that her asthma was being aggravated by the other lung, which was "working overtime," and that she also had an infection that was exacerbating the situation.
Before Sarah was put into an induced coma, doctors worked on her for four and a half hours, which Sarah's mother said made her feel "helpless" and "terrified" that her daughter might not survive.
Doctors had to re-induce Sarah into a coma because when they first attempted to do so, she became 'agitated' and had to be sedated.
"Sarah's vaping had been a major issue, according to doctors, and had she arrived at the hospital any later, things might have gotten much worse," Mary remarked.
She added, "The doctors explained that if Sarah hadn’t been vaping, she would have been in a better position to fight off the infection."
"Vaping had left her lungs very weak. The doctors said if Sarah had got to hospital any later, the outcome would have been entirely different. That is something I can’t even think about," the mother remarked.
Sarah has since gone home, but she will always be categorized as a high-risk patient, and according to her mother, she is still lethargic and "isn't back to her usual self yet."
Asthma and vaping: 'Dangerous combination'
The mother claimed that her daughter's asthma and vaping had been a "dangerous combination."
She said, "Young people are attracted to the bright colors and flavors of vapes - they might smell and taste sweet, but people need to know about the potential dangers associated with them."
She added, "We want other young people to see the potential impact vaping can have as it will hopefully make them think twice about doing it. The photos of Sarah in ICU are hard to look at, but we think it’s important young people see these and get a better understanding of the possible dangers."