Local teen says she was hospitalized with illness from vaping

A Beaver County teenager spent the last 10 days in hospitals after she says she developed an illness from vaping.

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Emma Bowland, 16, told Channel 11's Gabriella DeLuca she had severe pain and was having difficulty breathing after vaping around the clock for the last year.

"It was the worst thing I've ever been through. I couldn't even leave a fetal position open my eyes. The worst headache. Every time I would stand up, I would get so dizzy," Bowland said.

After procedures and testing, Bowland said doctors determined her illness was because of vaping.


"He came up and asked me if I vaped, and I said, 'Yeah,' and they took a chest X-ray, and they saw the popcorn lung you hear about," Bowland said.

It's a habit she did around the clock.

"Every day, every five minutes. I would be in public and tuck it in my sleeve and be discreet. It was a lifestyle," Bowland said.

Doctors at Children's Hospital treated her and are extremely concerned about the vaping trend. UPMC officials tell Channel 11 they have seen 22 vaping-related patients. A pediatric pulmonologist said 1 in 5 high school students vape.

Now, Bowland is recovering and taking medication and wants to warn anyone who wants to pick up a vape pen.

"It makes me happy that I've touched so many people with my story, and I would go through this again just so no other kid would have to," Bowland said.

Bowland said officials from the CDC came to speak with her about what she was experiencing. She now has to go to respiratory therapy and follow-up appointments.