SAN DIEGO - A local mother who says her teenage daughter nearly died after smoking a hookah pipe came forward to 10News Wednesday with a warning that few parents are aware of.
Christine Miller says her 18-year-old daughter was rushed to the hospital and needed oxygen after a night of smoking.
"She has a really bad headache, is dizzy and nauseous. She can't really sit up right now," said Miller. "She hasn't felt good even for a second since it's happened."
Miller does not want her daughter to be identified but wants other parents to know exactly what happened.
She says the 18-year-old was at Sheesha Lounge in Rancho San Diego on Saturday with friends smoking a hookah, the water pipe filled with tobacco, heated using charcoal and usually flavored.
After her daughter left the lounge, Miller says it did not take long for her to get sick.
"She just walked around and passed out," said Miller. "They just watched her go down."
Outside, she hit her head on the pavement. Her 19-year-old boyfriend was with her.
"It was pretty terrifying, you know," he said. "She was groaning in pain and stuff."
The 18-year-old was then rushed to the hospital. Miller says doctors almost immediately knew what it was.
"It uses coal … that's what they're burning and so as they're smoking it, they are getting that burning of the coal," said Miller.
Her daughter was suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning. It was the longest she had ever smoked before.
The owner of the lounge told 10News they are looking into it, but in nine years they have never had a problem.
Miller says she is not holding the business responsible but says that others need to be warned. Ironically, she says her daughter's pounding on the pavement may have been what saved her life.
"You know, that's when you hear about the stories where they're at home, they go to sleep and then they don't wake up," she said.
Miller is not blaming the lounge and she is not suing the business. She remains adamant that it could have happened anywhere.
In the meantime, she says her daughter is still not well Wednesday evening, nearly four days later.