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Teen with undiagnosed respiratory disease hospitalized after vaping

A mother and father have been sitting in Wolfson Children’s Hospital room with their 16-year-old daughter after her ability to breathe began to fade.

Beverly and J. Chinnis say it happened after their daughter Anna Chinnis was vaping.

She’s been in the hospital nine days and counting.

“Her blood oxygen levels were really low when we got her to the ER,” Anna’s father told News4Jax on Tuesday.

Vaping or smoking e-cigarettes has become a popular option versus cigarettes and it has attracted teens but is only allowed by law for people 18 years of age and up. The Chinnis family posted on social media about Anna’s struggle to breathe in hopes of deterring other teens from vaping.

Beverly Chinnis knew something was wrong last week.

“She started rapidly declining she went to BIPAP which is noninvasive ventilation, she did that for about a day,” Anna’s mother said.

Anna didn’t know she also has reactive airway disease, which has similar symptoms to asthma. Doctors believe her respiratory issues made vaping more dangerous.

Her mother said she told Anna to not vape.

About two years ago, Anna’s mom found vaping accessories but doesn’t know how long exactly Anna has been vaping.

According to the Florida Department of Health, last year there were 110 cases of lung injury due to e-cigarettes or vaping and two people died.

So far this year there have been nine cases of lung injury and no deaths.

Anna, who loves cheerleading competitions, fashion and was finishing school, is beginning to recover.

“She is getting better. It’s a slow process,” says her mother.

The student who has loved and cheered others on now has family and friends cheering and praying for her full recovery.

Gov. Ron DeSantis recently vetoed a bill that would’ve raised the age to buy tobacco to 21 and impose new regulations.

Jenese Harris/News4JAX