A woman has shared a horrific experience of “misusing” nitroxide oxide (NOS), more commonly known as nitrous oxide, which left her in a wheelchair. Kerry-Anne Donaldson, 26, is unable to use her legs because of a laughing gas addiction that saw her use 600 jerry cans a week, she said.
She stated that she first started using NOS at parties when she was 18, gradually increasing her use.
The former receptionist from Newham, east London, now depends on her wheelchair to get around.
She can’t walk without some help, reported The mirror.
She told the publication, “When I was 21, one morning I couldn’t use my legs or hands.
“I didn’t even realize what I was using until the doctors told me at the hospital that I knew it was laughing gas.
“I was uneducated on the subject and had no idea of the damage.”
She was later hospitalized and had to use a wheelchair and crutches for a few months.
Of her first hospital visit in 2020, Kerry-Anne said: “The doctor asked if I had taken anything.
“So I was honest and told him I had used canisters and balloons.
“Then he told me what was in it – nitrous oxide – and told me about the effects.
“He said the reason I’m in pain and can’t walk is because of the damage it causes.
“It prevents oxygen from passing through your body and to your brain and destroys your vitamin B12 levels.
“It was very shocking when the doctor told me that. I didn’t think that inhaling a balloon could do so much damage.
“At that point I felt a bit stupid, I never thought something so small could do so much damage.
“I should have known what I was taking before taking it instead of assuming it wouldn’t hurt me like it has.”
Kerry-Anne’s legs started to go numb again in early 2021, so she decided to stop taking the drug.
The incident has now forced her to support strict rules to make nitrous oxide a class-C drug, which would make possession illegal.
After two months of “deep depression”, Kerry-Anne decided to post TikTok others warn of her experience with nitrous oxide.
She said, “The TikTok went viral, I had so many people willing to help and talk.
“From that moment on, I decided to make something good happen and turn a negative situation into a positive one.
“I think it would certainly be a good idea to ban it.
“I know the hospitality industry uses it professionally, so we need to think about a way not to impact that industry too much.
“But overall it’s impacted so many people’s lives, and there’s not enough awareness about what it can do to you.”