Clay County woman recovering from vaping lung disease speaks out about e-cigarette dangers

Jacksonville woman warns of e-cigarette dangers

CLAY COUNTY, Fla. — A Clay County woman is warning others about the dangers of vaping.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention called the situation an epidemic last Friday, when it announced it's investigating more than 500 illnesses and a handful of deaths related to e-cigarette use.

Lisa Heath called vaping a death wish.

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“This little thing almost killed me.” Heath said, holding up her vaping device in her home Wednesday.

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Heath has been using medical marijuana for the last two years after a golf cart accident landed her in a hospital. In the last year, she began vaping THC.

On Aug. 11, she was admitted to Baptist Medical Center.

“Being on a ventilator and having to be to tube fed -- it’s not something that anybody could ever imagine.” Heath said. “It’s scary.”

She was in the hospital for two weeks. After getting permission from Heath, we spoke with her doctor on the phone. He said while Heath was at Baptist, he treated two other patients with the same symptoms.

“For me, this is more of an allergic reaction to vaping the vapor itself, which presents if they have true pneumonia, having all defined symptoms of it,” Dr. Ramon Dizon, an infectious disease specialist, told Action News Jax.

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Heath said she will not be using the device ever again and she is encouraging others to ditch the device, too.

“I hope that everybody that vapes, uses Juuls -- any of that stuff, put it down.” Heath said. “It happens to just anybody, and it happened to me."