Widow's heartbreaking warning as wife died after quitting smoking for vaping
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A widow is urging people to learn from the devastating story of her late wife, who passed away after taking up vaping to help curb her smoking habit.
Amanda Lee Hall was the first woman her wife, Kristen Hensley, had ever gone out with. Kristen was 'terrified at first', but their relationship blossomed and in 2014 the pair tied the knot.
Amanda was a smoker when they met, having picked up the habit when she was just 14 years old. She smoked frequently for about 22 years, but the year before she and Kristen got married, Amanda decided to quit.
Her decision came after her dad had fallen ill, so she took up vaping instead, believing it would be the healthier option.
As e-cigarettes have grown in popularity, it's been estimated that they are around 95 percent safer than smoking. However, it's important to note there are only estimations at this point.
Amanda didn't have any issues immediately after making the switch, but over the course of the next five years she started to experience complications including frequent vomiting, weight loss and cold-like symptoms.
In September 2019 she was rushed to hospital, where she was diagnosed with bronchitis and given a course of antibiotics.
Just four days later, medics confirmed her lungs were shutting down.
The cause of Amanda's issues have not been determined, but doctors believe vapes may have been responsible for the damage to her lungs.
Kristen said Amanda was 'bravely acting like it was just a cold', but Kristen admitted she was 'so scared' about the uncertainty surrounding her health.
"I completely believed her lungs would heal from the vaping injury and she would be healthy again - but I was wrong," she said.
Amanda was kept in hospital and received high-flow oxygen therapy, but sadly, the treatment didn't work and she was put on a ventilator.
Over time, she was put in a medically-induced coma and later on life support. In February 2020 she was diagnosed with double pneumonia, and towards the end of 2021 Amanda tragically passed away.
Kristen said she's been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of the ordeal, explaining: "I don’t sleep well due to nightmares or I wake myself up crying - it's been very difficult.
"[Amanda] put me at ease, made me laugh and was just so adorable.
"Life isn’t the same without her, but my love for Amanda will always stay alive - she was my everything and so much more."
Kristen has shared her wife's story as a warning, saying she hopes it will 'help others who are trying to deter this deadly habit and hopefully avoid the same devastating fate we've all suffered'.
Kristen set up a GoFundMe page back in 2019 to help cover the cost of mounting medical bills when Amanda was in hospital, though the page is still active and can be donated to here.
If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence, contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677