A teenage girl found herself on life support after waking up with what she thought was a cold.
But Juliet Roberts had actually been battling lung damage and pneumonia from vaping since she was 14.
The 18-year-old was hospitalized in January after struggling to breathe.
She claims doctors told her that years of constant vaping had ravaged her lungs and that, plus a reaction to a disposable vape, triggered pneumonia.
After being rushed to hospital, Juliette found herself on life support for five days and still has to be on oxygen.
Now recovering at home, Juliet is still at risk of having a heart attack due to the strain on her weak lungs.
The waitress decided to share shocking photos of herself on life support to warn people to the dangers of vaping.
Juliet, from Mount Pleasant, Tennessee, USA, said: “I woke up like I had a cold and I was really not feeling well, and as the days passed I started to feel worse. wrong.
“Three days later I was sitting in my room and I went to get up and fell back down because I couldn’t breathe, I thought I was going to pass out.
“I called my boyfriend and told him I had to go to the ER because I could tell something was wrong.
“As soon as they checked my vital signs, three nurses rushed in because my oxygen was so low they couldn’t believe I was walking.
“After doing all the tests, my condition started to get worse very quickly and I don’t remember much after that.
“From what I was told, they put me on a ventilator and when that wasn’t enough, they put me on life support.
“Doctors told me that if I hadn’t made it that night, I would have lost my life. It was very scary.
“They told me I was dying, I’m so glad I went to the hospital when I did.”
Juliet started vaping at 14 when her classmates started using them and says she quickly became “addicted”, switching to a disposable e-cigarette every two weeks.
It’s rare, but people – often teenagers – have ended up with severe lung damage from vaping.
The NHS advises that vapes are “much less harmful than cigarettes and can help you quit smoking for good”, but they are “not entirely risk-free”.
Adding: “Almost all of the harm from smoking comes from the thousands of other chemicals in tobacco smoke, many of which are toxic.”
She recounted how the infection that nearly killed her caused her lungs to appear white on the x-ray, rather than the typical black depiction of healthy soft tissue.
Juliet said: ‘When you do a chest x-ray it’s supposed to be black and the only white you’re supposed to see are your ribs.
“But my x-ray, you almost couldn’t even count some of my ribs because of how white they were.
“It was from the damage from vaping and the pneumonia I contracted while vaping.”
Juliet was told she would be out of work for three to 12 months while her lungs recovered.
She must be careful not to catch diseases that could further strain her weak lungs.
The teenager said: ‘Right now my lungs are working so hard that if I overexert myself I’m at risk of a heart attack – my heart rate goes to 150 when I’m climbing stairs which is very dangerous.
“My lungs will never go back to what they were before, they will only get strong enough so that I can breathe on my own again.
“They told me on leaving the hospital that even if I caught a cold, I would end up where I was because of how weak my lungs were at the minute.
“My friends had to take Covid tests to come see me just to make sure it was safe.”
Juliet says doctors warned her that due to lasting damage to her lungs, using a vape again could kill her.
After her traumatic experience, the teenager, who vows never to vape again, now hopes to encourage others to quit, insisting that “it’s not worth it”.
Juliet said: ‘I haven’t hit one since the day I went to the hospital and I never plan on doing it again.
“The doctor told me it would end my life and that’s all the information I need to quit for good.
“I just want people to know that it’s really not worth it. I want people to know that it’s as dangerous as people say and it’s a lot more common than you think.
Shocking research has revealed how quickly vaping can affect the cells of healthy non-smokers.
A single 30-minute vaping session can increase cellular oxidative stress.
This happens when there is an imbalance between free radicals – molecules that damage cells – and antioxidants – which fight free radicals.
This story originally appeared on The sun and has been reproduced here with permission.