AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — The recent reports of vape-related deaths across our nation has sparked a push to ban vaping altogether. It has also sparked a push to educate teenagers on the risks associated with vaping.
Maggie Glynn sat down with a mother here in Amarillo who said vaping almost took her daughter’s life.
Kaitlyn Lard came home from taking the SAT’s last year and told her mom, Michelle, she was having trouble breathing.
“She came home, I could tell she was struggling to breathe, and I was like ‘ah she’s having an asthma attack.’ She hadn’t had an asthma attack since she was really young,” said Michelle Lard.
They went to Urgent Care where she was diagnosed with a sinus infection, but when things got worse later that night, Michelle took her daughter to the hospital.
“The doctor came in and was like, ‘she’s definitely having an asthma attack, there’s no air movement in her lungs.’ They asked her if she had been smoking and she said no,” said Michelle.
Kaitlyn did not tell her mom she had vaped until months after the incident. The following night, it got worse.
“About three o’clock in the morning, I woke up from a dead sleep and I knew I needed to go check on her. So I went to her bedroom to check on her, she was opening her door to come out, and she said ‘I can’t breathe.’ So, I ran her up to BSA again and they admitted her, and almost intubated her because she literally could not breathe,” said Michelle.
She spent five days in the hospital. Dr. David Haacke, who was not Kaitlyn’s doctor at the time, said recently here in Amarillo, he has seen several vape-related illnesses.
“I’ve seen asthma attacks that have been triggered by vapes. We’ve certainly seen cases that just like cigarette smoke, can exacerbate inflammatory lung disease, things like asthma and COPD,” said Dr. Haacke.
Michelle hopes this can be a lesson to other parents to make sure your kids are educated on the dangers of vaping.
“Children die all the time in the middle of the night from asthma issues alone. But you put something as in vaping and all the toxins and things that are in the vapes, those kids don’t have a clue what they’re getting into. And it might not hurt them one time, but it just takes that one time, enough nicotine that will shut you down, just like Katie,” said Michelle.
Michelle told us she hopes physicians in the future start asking, especially teens, if they smoke or vape.
Dr. Haacke said his office already has started asking both on their patient intake questionnaires now.