A mum-of-three spent more than three weeks in hospital and was put in a coma after developing a mystery lung illness she puts down to her vaping habit.
Sherie Canada, from Abilene, Texas, vaped on and off for three years before getting sick in June. Although she initially believed her symptoms were due to the flu, a stomach bug or dehydration, doctors confirmed differently.
After going to the doctors, she was diagnosed with pre-pneumonia but only got more ill from there, eventually getting taken to ER where doctors discovered fluid and blood clots in her lungs.
As reported by CBS Austin, Sherie was admitted to the ICU where she was put into a medically induced coma on June 18.
The mum-of-three told the television station:
It was scary. I was praying and hoping that I woke up. You don’t think about it. Everyone else is doing it. They’re all OK. Everything’s fine and then you’re not.
She spent 24 days in hospital in total, and said the hardest thing was watching her sons go through the ordeal; she was sent to the ICU on one of her son’s 13th birthday, and intubated on her 15-year-old son’s birthday. ‘I felt a lot of guilt and shame. I did this to myself,’ Sherie said.
The mum-of-three decided to share her story on Facebook in the hope that she could make others aware of the dangers of vaping, stating: ‘I was given a second chance for a reason’.
In the post, Sherie said she was ‘ashamed’ to admit she used to vape, saying she got into it after trying it and liking the flavours. She then said she got ‘addicted’ to the nicotine within the e-cigarettes.
I am telling this story not for attention but to let others know the risk of inhaling things into your lungs, you have no idea of how precious they are until they aren’t yours anymore and a machine is telling them to breath for you!
I am sharing this today because I have seen so many cases or status updates on Facebook about mothers and fathers standing beside their children in the hospital or brothers and sisters as well, with chest tubes, or oxygen on them and wondering what it could be!
So far, there have been 380 cases of lung illness reported from 36 states and one US territory, and six deaths have been reported from six states. All reported cases have a history of e-cigarette product use or vaping.
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), most patients have reported a history of using e-cigarette products containing THC, while many have reported using THC and nicotine.
Their investigation is ongoing, with the health protection agency saying they don’t yet know the specific cause of these illnesses and the investigation has not identified any specific e-cigarette or vaping product that is linked to all cases.
After the number of cases doubled in the space of just one week, officials at the CDC have also urged people to stop vaping.
Our thoughts are with Sherie and we hope she makes a full recovery.
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A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).