Follow Us

Tennessee woman warns others after hospitalized for vaping-related illness

A Tennessee woman is sharing her story to warn others after doctors say a vaping-related illness put her life on the line. This comes in the wake of two vaping-related deaths in Tennessee.

According to the Tennessee Department of Health, there have been 57 lung injury cases associated with vaping in the state. Earlier this month, Kalyn Roberts became part of that statistic.

The sickness came as a shock for the seemingly healthy, 24-year-old teacher who used to play soccer at Martin Methodist in Pulaski.

Kalyn says she used a Juul vape pen for a year and a half, always buying the cartridges from an authorized source. She says she never used any illegal substances with the pen.

On October 5th, she was admitted to the hospital in Pulaski after flu and cold-type symptoms persisted. Her condition deteriorated quickly as her lung function worsened. She eventually had to be intubated and even airlifted to another hospital in Murfreesboro.

“It’s still surreal that I did go through it and I came that close to not making it through it,” Kalyn said.

Doctors described how her lung function was impacted.

“They described it like my lungs were like a sponge and that I had just poured vegetable oil on them and just saturated them in oil so that my lungs couldn’t do what they needed to do,” Kalyn said.

Thankfully, her condition improved, and she was released from the hospital. Now, Kalyn hopes her story can keep others informed.

“You don’t have to be using the illegal products to have something like this happen, and happen so suddenly and severe,” Kalyn said.

Kalyn’s father, Kevin, was by her side the whole time.

“This is your baby girl, and it’s just heart wrenching,” Kevin said.

He said he’s thankful that his daughter lived to tell her story, and hopes it can help save someone’s life.

“We want parents and people to know that this does happen,” Kevin said. “It happens to normal people, it happens to healthy people, and you don’t know when it’s going to be your time for it to happen.”

FOX 17 News reached out to Juul for a statement, with no response back yet.

Kathleen Serie/Fox17