A 24 year old Woman from Bristol was left paralyzed after she inhaled tons of laughing gas in order to get high.
She took to Facebook to warn the public to learn from her experience as she posted an old video of herself breathing in a balloon filled with nitrous oxide or laughing gas to share her important message about the dangers of the frequently-used drug.
24 year old Olivia Golding said her ordeal started when she inhaled 15 balloons of laughing gas at a festival after which she started to experience a sensation she described as a pins and needles sensation down her spine.
After three days she realised she couldn’t walk properly anymore and a few days after she woke up unable to move; she was unable to speak properly either.
“I felt like I’d been in the gym for six hours, I was walking in literally like an 80-year-old woman,” she said explaining how she felt walking into a hospital
Doctors had immediately ordered scans, which revealed she had suffered damage to the top of her spinal cord and nervous system as a result of inhaling a generous amount of nitrous oxide balloons also known as laughing gas.
Nitrous Oxide is inhaled as form of recreational drug and can make its users feel euphoric and relaxed.
The gas however has a major side effect; it can lead to death because a lack of oxygen is most likely to occur when inhaling the gas.
There is also an increased risk if the gas is consumed within an enclosed space or hurriedly used in large volumes.
Due to the effects of the laughing gas, Olivia has lost all feeling in her body from her calves up to her shoulders. Her speech has been impaired and she is now in a wheelchair, unable to walk unassisted; Doctors don’t know if she’ll ever recover from the damaging side effects.
Olivia in turn has taken it upon herself to spread the word on the dangers of laughing gas. According to her;
“Everyone’s doing it you don’t think it’s going to hurt you. It can happen to anybody,” she said.
In one of her posts which has a million views already with 14,000 shares, she wrote;
“Day 3 of being bed bound, I wanted to write this on social media to [raise] awareness to all of my friends that also use balloons of what the balloon is actually doing to your body. If this just stops one person from doing them I feel I would have succeeded in some way.”
Olivia then went on to bemoan the fact that laughing gas canisters were readily available at festivals, clubs and even on the streets and people do not realise the danger that the gas poses.
“The [nitrous] oxide that is put into the balloon that we all crave is actually starving your brain of oxygen and eating away at your nervous system. I have no feeling in my body from my calves to my shoulders and cannot use my hands.
The doctors are now going to focus on trying to reverse this but I wanted to make everyone aware that the 20 second high off that one balloon could cause you weeks in hospital teaching yourself to walk properly again.”