A 12-year-old girl’s life took a terrifying turn when vaping left her gasping for breath, resulting in an urgent call to action as health experts and parents unite to unmask the true perils of vaping.
The Start of a Nightmare
Sarah Griffin’s evening seemed routine as she prepared for bed, but a persistent cough hinted at the impending nightmare.
12-Year-Old Struggles to Breathe
Initially attributed to asthma, Sarah’s condition took a dire turn, leading her to struggle for breath.
As the night wore on, Sarah resorted to her inhaler and nebulizer, desperately seeking the relief that those tools usually brought to her asthmatic lungs.
The Frantic Phone Call
However, her mother received a frantic call from Sarah during the day that sent shockwaves through her family.
Race to the Hospital
Her mother, Mary Griffin, raced against time to get her to the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast, where the situation grew ever more critical.
Oxygen Dangerously Low
Sarah was transported to the resuscitation area, her oxygen levels plummeting to alarming lows.
The Terrified Child
Ms. Griffin described the child’s fear, saying “Sarah was just in a blind panic, she was terrified,” her world a whirlwind of medical staff, machines, and tubes.
Sent Straight to the ICU
Within hours, Sarah found herself in the intensive care unit, where she was placed in an induced coma, fighting for her life.
The Shocking X-Ray
The X-ray image revealed that one lung was severely injured and infected, while the other worked relentlessly to pick up the slack, exacerbating her asthma.
The “Heart-Wrenching” Scene
For Mary Griffin, witnessing her daughter’s fragile state was nothing short of heart-wrenching.
A Mother’s Worst Nightmare
Ms. Griffin shared, “There were tubes, wires, and machines everywhere- it was heart-breaking to see her like that,” continuing, “as her mum I just felt so helpless- it was a nightmare come true”.
Chaos in the ICU
Sarah’s intensive care journey spanned hour after hour, with medical professionals working tirelessly to stabilize her condition.
The Three Day Coma
After three days in a coma, they finally removed the ventilator, and Sarah embarked on a challenging path to recovery.
The Truth: The Vape at Fault
The grim truth soon emerged: vaping had ravaged her lungs, making it much harder for her body to fight off the infection.
12 Year Old Now High-Risk
After this incident, Sarah is now classified as a high-risk patient with lingering symptoms and uncertain long-term health implications.
The Uphill Battle
Previously, her asthma was under control, but now she faces an uphill battle for her well-being.
Sarah’s story serves as a powerful testament to the dangers of vaping, catapulting her family into a mission to raise awareness.
Chorus of Concern
Their voices join the chorus of concern from organizations like Northern Ireland Chest Heart & Stroke (NICHS), dedicated to dispelling the myth that vaping is a harmless alternative to smoking.
The Sobering Truth
Fidelma Carter, head of public health at NICHS, delivers a sobering truth: vaping is far from harmless, particularly for the younger generation.
Carter’s Warning – Vaping Is Not Risk Free
Carter said “The biggest misunderstanding about vapes is that they are harmless compared to cigarettes. This is not true, and this message needs to change to prevent more young people from taking up and getting addicted to vaping because they think they are risk free. The long-term health implications are unknown – just as they once were with tobacco.”
Vaping Misunderstandings Addressed
Carter continued, “ We have launched our vaping awareness campaign in response to the misunderstandings around the potential health risks associated with vaping and the huge increase in the number of teenagers using vapes.”
Undisclosed Health Risks Grow
As the world grapples with a rise in teenage vaping, the urgency to understand the undisclosed health risks grows. Just as tobacco was once shrouded in uncertainty, the same cloud of doubt now surrounds vaping, urging parents and health experts to unite against this dangerous habit.
The post Close Call for 12-Year-Old Girl Highlights Dangers of Vaping, Prompting Health Warnings first appeared on The Public Slate.
Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Yurii_Yarema. The people shown in the images are for illustrative purposes only, not the actual people featured in the story.