Utah Teen Left in Coma With Rare Lung Disease Caused by Vaping

Maddie Nelson, an 18-year-old from Utah, was hospitalized and left in a coma after developing a rare lung disease from vaping, according to FOX 13. Nelson was diagnosed with acute eosinophilic pneumonia which is “a lung disease caused by the buildup of eosinophils, a type of white blood cell, in the lungs.”

According to RareDiseases.org, the exact cause of eosinophilic pneumonia is unknown but “recent change in tobacco smoking habits and drug intake can trigger the disease.”

Doctors told Nelson that she contracted the disease from e-cigarettes and described it as one of the worst cases they have ever seen.

“When you inhale the moisture, it’s just creating the perfect environment for bacteria to grow inside your lungs and for infection to start. And that is basically what happened,” doctors informed her.

Nelson said that she had been vaping every day for three years.

The teen came out of her coma earlier this month and has been able to eat and breathe on her own since. She took to social media to share her story with the hope that others would learn the danger of vaping following her illness.

“I am sharing my story so you all are aware that there is something crazy in these pens that is not safe and almost cost me my life,” Nelson wrote, via the New York Post. “I used to just tell myself it won’t happen to me, but it can and will happen to you too…take my advice, don’t smoke, don’t vape. #vape #stopthevape.”

She added: “I had fat particles growing inside my lungs that were related to the glycerin in vape juice. So then my lungs were full of fluid. They said that my chest X-rays were one of the worst they’ve ever seen.”

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help Nelson’s family cover medical costs.

While vaping is less harmful than traditional smoking, there are still heavy health concerns. In late August, the first-ever death from vaping-related lung injury was reported in Illinois. As more and more studies are conducted on the dangers of vaping, the issues that could arise from the “healthy” alternative are becoming more clear. Symptoms of vaping-related health issues included diarrhea, vomiting, coughing, and shortness of breath. Devices can also cause throat irritation and an increased risk of heart attack.

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