Woman issues warning to nitrous oxide balloons users after brother suffers nerve damage
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A concerned TikTok user has issued a warning to people who use nitrous oxide balloons after her brother was left suffering nerve damage.
Dan Cole encouraged people who 'do balloons' to watch her video as she wanted 'massive awareness' for her story which began after her brother went out with friends.
Dan's brother called his mum to tell her he felt 'dizzy' and like he was going to 'faint', explaining that he couldn't breathe and he needed an ambulance.
Not wanting to wait for an ambulance to arrive, the family decided to take the boy to hospital themselves, where he underwent tests and was told initially everything was 'fine'.
Dan said the family were told they'd have to wait hours for more tests to be done, so they decided to go home for the night.
The following day, Dan's mum found her brother 'crying in his room, really upset' and explaining he couldn't move properly and that his legs were 'completely numb'.
"He was like losing his feeling in his arms and his hands and stuff like that... The way he put it to me is that nothing felt real," she said.
The family went back to the hospital, but had to get a wheelchair for Dan's brother as he 'physically couldn't use his legs'.
"Basically what's happened is, from balloon canisters... on your nerves in your body, there's something that protects them and basically that's all been stripped in his body, so he's now got nerve damage," Dan said.
Her brother received some treatment, but she claimed that doctors couldn't make any promises about his recovery.
"They've basically said to him, even if you stop doing balloons now, this can still get worse for you. What's happened is, if everything they've done for him doesn't work, he can end up paralysed, which means he won't be able to use his legs and will be in a wheelchair," she said.
Talk To Frank explains that 'heavy regular use of nitrous oxide' can result in the user having a deficiency of vitamin B12 and to a form of anaemia.
"Severe B12 deficiency can lead to serious nerve damage, causing tingling and numbness in the fingers and toes. This can be very painful and make walking difficult. It can even lead to paralysis, and the damage may be lasting," the site said.
Dan received mixed responses after sharing her warning, with some opening up about their own stories of negative experiences while others blamed her brother for doing the balloons in the first place.
In response to one of the latter comments, Dan pointed out that she'd only made the video to 'warn everyone of the danger they could be putting themselves in' and encouraged them to take their 'unwanted' comments elsewhere.