'It's a quick killer:' Waukesha woman nearly dies from vaping

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WAUKESHA, Wis. (CBS 58) -- A Waukesha woman is sharing her story of lung illness related to vaping, so others can learn about the dangers of e-cigarettes.

Kate Krzysik started feeling ill in November. It prompted her to visit the doctors and get tested for the flu, but results came back negative. She stopped smoking and started vaping, in hopes of feeling better.

“I thought to myself, I’m not gonna smell like smoke, 'cause I was trying to quit. It’s not as heavy on my lungs.”

Instead, Krzysik says she got worse after just six weeks of vaping.

“I was very disoriented, I couldn’t stand up. I wasn’t speaking correctly. I wasn’t making sense.”

Krzysik was rushed to ProHealth Waukesha Memorial Hospital and admitted to the ICU. She doesn’t remember her time there, but was placed in a medically induced coma for five days.

“It was the combination of the perfect storm,” she said. “I had bilateral pneumonia, mycoplasma infection, and because of the vaping to my lungs, they were gonna combust, and I was almost dead.”

Her family got ready to say their goodbyes and held a prayer vigil at the hospital,  attended by nearly 100 people. Miraculously, the next day Krzysik's condition turned around.

“Seeing the pictures of me on a ventilator, knowing that vaping was the leading cause of that is just really hard for me to comprehend even at this moment.”

As Krzysik is nursing her way back to health, she continues to fight to make sure she doesn’t fall sick again.

“Vaping is not a quick fix, it’s a quick killer,” she added.

Krzysik will return to work in late February, but only in a part-time capacity. She will continue to take medication for several months.

For more information on vaping from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, visit: https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/basic_information/e-cigarettes/severe-lung-disease.html.


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