A woman who has never smoked a cigarette in her life is dying of terminal ‘smokers lung’ – because of passive smoking from her childhood.
Lynda Mitchell, 52, inhaled the smoke of up to 120 cigarettes a DAY which her parents puffed through at their home.
The damage inflicted on her lungs has now caused Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) – a disease suffered by heavy smokers.
She is now confined to a wheelchair and needs constant oxygen to help her breathe.
The mother-of-one has now issued a stark warning to parents about the hazards of smoking around their children.
Former factory worker Lynda, of Withywood, Bristol, said: ”I will die from second hand smoke and I have never smoked in my life.
”My mum used to get up in the morning and light a cigarette. She smoked about 60 a day.
”I’d get up in the morning and the first thing that would hit me when I walked down the stairs was the vile smell of smoke. I would cough and cough until I was nearly sick.
”Nobody realised the devastating effects of smoking 50 years ago, they just thought it was fashionable.
”As I got older the information started to filter down about how smoking is bad for you and I was desperate for her to stop as a teenager.
”When mum realised what I had she stopped smoking indoors, but that was the 90s really. The damage was already done. I was finished.”
Lynda suffering a severe bout of pneumonia aged just one Lynda and went on to develop serious asthma and endured frequent hospital visits for various respiratory disorders.
She was even sent to boarding school at the age of nine for five years in a bid to expose her to more fresh air and make her more healthy.
Lynda always ‘knew’ her mother June Evans, now 72, was aggravating the problems by smoking, but says no one knew the dangers of second-hand smoking.
She added: ”I’m proof that second hand smoking can kill. Your lungs aren’t fully formed until you’re 25. People are killing their children with second hand smoke.
”They know absolutely and categorically – the evidence is out there – that they’re killing their children.
”One cigarette in your car, even with the window down, is like forcing a child to spend an evening in a nightclub full of smokers.”
Lynda was officially diagnosed with COPD in 2003, but doctors believe she had been suffering from the condition since the 1980s.
The disease is a chronic combination of bronchitis and emphysema caused by noxious particles or gas that trigger an inflammatory response in the lungs.
As the air passages become narrower and eventually become fixed lung capacity is diminished making the simple act of breathing impossible.
The disease has left Lynda with only 22 per cent function in her lungs and she relies on oxygen 24 hours a day to breathe.
Lynda also takes an astonishing course of 20 to 25 medications everyday, including painkillers and steroids, to protect the little bit of lung capacity she has left.
She cannot dress, wash, or even make a cup of tea by herself as she gets too exhausted, and relies on husband Sean, 52, and daughter Amy, 24, to help her live.
The disease is terminal. Doctors cannot give her a precise prognosis, but she will eventually die from the disease.
Lynda is now backing a campaign by the British Lung Foundation to ban smoking in cars where passengers are under 18.
She added: ”If I hadn’t been surrounded by smoke I think I would have been a lot better. I wouldn’t be sat here talking to you about dying.
”My mum loves me, and I love my mum and she wouldn’t intentionally hurt me. But there’s no excuse now really.
”I am not trying to make parents give up smoking all together, I just want people to be aware of the affect it can have on other peoples lives.
”I am dying a very horrid, very slow death, please don’t let the same happen to your children.”