A TEENAGE vaper has shared a shocking video of him convulsing as he warns e-cigarettes have left him with the lungs of a “70-year-old”.
Adam Hergenreder, who he started vaping when he was 16, says he started to feel unwell last month but thought it was stomach flu.
The 18-year-old, from Illinois, US, said he started to “randomly convulse” and it felt like he was “having a stroke”.
After three days of uncontrollable shivering and vomiting, his mum Polly took him to hospital where he was put in intensive care.
Initially docs didn’t connect his symptoms with vaping and he was given anti-nausea medication, but the vomiting didn’t stop.
They then carried out a CT scan of his stomach and noticed something unusual about the lower part of his lungs so decided to do an X-ray.
Adam told CNN: “That’s when they saw the full damage.”
Doctors said that if his mum hadn’t brought him into hospital within the next two or three days he could have died.
She sat by his side for the next six days in hospital where he was connected to IVs and oxygen.
A disturbing video of him lying in his bed on the ward hooked up to tubes shows his body convulsing as he struggles to breathe.
Dr Stephen Amesbury, a pulmonologist and critical care physician at Advocate Condell Medical Center in Illinois, told the broadcaster: “If his mum had not brought him to the hospital within the next two to three days, his breathing could have worsened to the point that he could have died if he didn’t seek medical care.
“It was severe lung disease, especially for a young person. He was short of breath, he was breathing heavily.
“It was very concerning that he would have significant lung damage and possibly some residual changes after he heals from this.”
Adam, who has since been discharged from hospital but is still recovering, is urging people not to vape.
He said: “I don’t want to see anybody in my situation. I don’t want to see anybody in the hospital for as long as I was.”
The teen admits he took up the habit to “fit in”, adding that “everyone else was doing it”.
Adam said: “It didn’t taste like a cigarette. It tasted good.”
He said the flavours appealed to him, especially mango, and the nicotine provided a buzz.
It didn’t taste like a cigarette. It tasted good
“He would wake up in the morning and would puff on that Juul and then cough,” said mum Polly.
“He would hit it several times throughout the day. My son was going through a pod and a half every other day, or a day and a half.”
Eventually, he went from vaping over-the-counter e-liquids to vaping THC, the psychoactive component of marijuana.
But it was soon after that he started to feel unwell and eventually ended up in hospital.
‘I didn’t know’
Adam said: “If I had known what it was doing to my body, I would have never even touched it, but I didn’t know. I wasn’t educated.”
His ordeal follows a spike of mysterious and life-threatening lung diseases – believed to be linked to vaping – over the summer.
In the US, six people are now reported to have died from vaping-related lung illnesses.
The latest person to die was in their 50s and from Kansas.
They were in hospital “with symptoms that progressed rapidly”, but also to have had a history of underlying health issues.
While more than 450 people, mostly otherwise healthy and in their teens or 20s, have shown up at hospitals with breathing difficulties.
Often they’ve also suffered with vomiting, fever and fatigue for several days prior.
Some have even ended up in intensive care on a ventilator for several weeks.
MORE ON E-CIGARETTES
It’s prompted health bosses to issue a warning while they investigate the issue.
The US’s health protection agency, the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said earlier this month that people should “consider restraining from using e-cigarette products”.
So far, officials say the cause is unknown, but they are carrying out investigations.
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