Woman addicted to vaping left on life support with deadly lung condition
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A woman who was addicted to vaping was left on life support after her habit caused a life-threatening condition.
Although plenty of studies have shown that using vapes is better than smoking cigarettes, they still contain a number of chemicals and, of course, nicotine that can impact your health in the long run.
The case of Amanda Stelzer serves as a stark warning against the habit, which the 34-year-old started seven years ago.
Although it gave her a 'buzz', as she became more addicted to the nicotine in the liquid, it got to the point where she was getting through two four-packs of cartridges per week - around one a day.
In October 2019, she was rushed to hospital as she was struggling to breathe, had severe lower back pain and felt like her heart was 'beating out of her chest'.
Doctors ran extensive tests but couldn't figure out what was wrong with her. Her condition quickly deteriorated, and she was put on life support.
Amanda, a cashier from Delaware, Ohio, US, said: "I was crying because I was in so much pain. I was so scared.
"The last thing I remember is someone handing me a form and basically saying I needed to sign this if I wanted to live - that was the consent form to be put on life support."
The staff were running further examinations to try and figure out what was wrong with her when her mum asked whether it could be something to do with vaping.
Following a chest scan, they soon found the answer - Amanda was diagnosed with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), a life-threatening injury where the lungs are unable to provide enough oxygen to the body.
It was ruled that Amanda's ARDS was a direct result of vaping.
After eight long days, she came off life support and was discharged following two weeks in the hospital - but it was a long road of recovery ahead.
She couldn't work, see friends and family or be around people using cigarettes and vaping for six months while her lungs healed.
And since ARDS is a serious condition and has a long-term impact, Amanda could end up back in A&E if she gets another illness.
She continued: "I was lucky that I owned my car at the time and my insurance covered my treatment, but I still got into a lot of debt.
"It was depressing. I was happy to be alive but I was sad that I couldn't work and I couldn’t be around family and friends without a mask.
"It was awkward having to disinfect everything and ask people not to vape or smoke around me anymore.
"I even lost two friends because they refused to quit."
Amanda now suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of the horrific experience. But thankfully she's made a great recovery and says her health is currently 'amazing'.
She has vowed to never touch a vape again and hopes that her experience will be the wake-up call someone else needs.
Amanda finished by saying: "It seems harmless until it isn’t. You never know what can happen - I thought it was no big deal when I started.
"It is dangerous and I don’t want someone else to go through what I went through.
"People might not want to see it or hear it but if it helps just one person stop, I’ll be happy."