ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – An Abilene woman says she spent 24 days in the hospital, including more than two weeks in Intensive Care, due to disease caused by vaping.
Sherie Canada says she vaped on and off for three years.
Never a smoker, Canada told KTAB and KRBC she started vaping because she heard it was safe and soon became addicted to the flavors and nicotine.
“I liked it, so I just kept vaping,” Canada recalls.
This summer, everything changed when Canada fell ill and she couldn’t figure out why.
She thought she had the flu, or a stomach bug, or was just dehydrated, but on June 11 she couldn’t breathe, so she went to a minor emergency clinic.
They gave her antibiotics to treat what they thought was pre-pneumonia, but Canada’s symptoms only got worse.
Her fever and inability to breathe was so bad, she went to the emergency room where doctors discovered she had several lung clots and fluid in her lungs.
Canada was hospitalized as her condition continued to degrade.
On June 18, her 15-year-old son’s birthday, she was intubated and placed in a medically induced coma to allow her body to rest.
She woke up a week later and that’s when her doctor told her that vaping likely caused her condition, saying it’s hard on her lungs and filled them with fluid.
“I did this to myself,” Canada says. “I had a lot of guilt and a lot of shame. And what I put my family through . . . it was a selfish choice that I made, to vape, to do what I wanted to do.”
Now, Canada wants to use what she is calling her “second chance” to spread awareness of the possible side effects of vaping.
“It is dangerous, and it is bad for your lungs, and it could possibly kill you,” Canada explains.
Canada is still recovering from her illness and is now in school for nursing – a new passion discovered during her hospital stay.