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San Diego woman hospitalized with vaping illness warns others against the habit

san diego vaping illness
Posted at 5:03 PM, Jan 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-03 20:03:16-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - A San Diego woman is warning young adults to put down their e-cigarettes after she became ill from what she called a vaping-related problem.

Lili McDonald started the new year in the hospital.

“I couldn't keep anything down; I couldn't breathe. Just going to the bathroom, back and forth, and I knew it was something more than the flu at that point,” McDonald said.

RELATED: This is where you can get help if your child is vaping

21-year-old McDonald said she vaped for three months before she got sick. She was admitted to the hospital Sunday and Friday was the first day she could breathe without oxygen.

“I didn't want to admit it to myself, like this could actually be happening,” she said.

Doctors diagnosed McDonald with vaping-induced pneumonitis, which causes inflammation and scarring in the lungs.

“Hopefully we can get the inflammation down, but otherwise I'm going to have scaring on my lungs from this for the rest of my life probably,” said McDonald.

RELATED: 11 San Diego illnesses linked to vaping, officials say

Deadly lung illnesses linked to vaping have taken the lives of 55 people across the nation. The FDA is banning most fruit and mint flavored nicotine vaping products to curb the rise in teen and young adult users.

“How accessible it is also scares me. My biggest thing is it really is marketed for kids and people my age.”

McDonald works full time. Doctors aren’t sure when she’ll get to go home or get back to work.