Vaping put my 12-year-old daughter in a coma – Georgia Trevitt
"As Sarah was getting ready for bed one Sunday night, she started coughing. She’s asthmatic, but it settled once she used her inhaler. The next morning, though, it went from bad to worse. Sarah had stayed off school but she called me when I’d quickly popped to the shop, barely able to string a sentence together, telling me she needed to go to hospital.
"Her dad immediately took her in and her oxygen levels were very low. The next thing I knew, Sarah’s dad phoned me to say Sarah was in Resus. I went to the hospital and she was just in a blind panic, utterly terrified.
"She was on oxygen and was linked up to all sorts of machines. There were medical staff all around her and they said she needed to go to ICU as she was deteriorating very quickly.
"The doctor showed me an X-ray of Sarah’s lungs and explained one had been badly injured. The other was therefore working overtime and aggravating her asthma. Sarah also had an infection, so everything combined had a massive impact on her body.
"When we got to ICU the team worked on Sarah for four and a half hours before having to put her into an induced coma. There were tubes, wires and machines everywhere – it was heartbreaking to see her like that.
"As her mum I just felt so helpless – it was a nightmare come true. Sarah has an older brother and two younger siblings and trying to explain to them what was happening was awful. They were asking if she was going to die, and I was saying, 'Of course not', but in my mind I was terrified that was a real possibility.
"Sarah had machines breathing for her and she was very unstable. The first time the team tried to bring her out of the induced coma she was so agitated the doctors decided it was too early and induced her again.
“They then tried to bring her out of the coma again the next day and started removing tubes, reducing her sedation, taking her off the ventilator and slowly bringing her back round. I’d prepared myself for further months in hospital but, thankfully, she was back home after a few days. She is a fighter and was absolutely amazing through everything.
"The doctors explained that if Sarah hadn’t been vaping, she would have been in a better position to fight off the infection. They also said if she’d got to hospital any later the outcome would have been entirely different.
“For the rest of her life Sarah will be classed as a high-risk patient if she is admitted to hospital because of the effect this has had on her physically.
"She’s also been left very lethargic. She is usually full of energy, but she isn’t back to her usual self yet.
"The mental impact has been as big as the physical impact. She has been through such a trauma. There is still a long road ahead of her, but we are just so grateful to have her back home with us."
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