Adam Hergenreder, 18, a student from Gurnee, Illinois, is one of more than 450 victims of a severe respiratory illness related to vaping. His lungs closely resemble the lungs of a 70-year-old man, according to his doctors.
After vaping for a year and a half, Adam had symptoms of shivers, nausea, and incessant vomiting in August. He told CNN, “I was just nonstop throwing up every day for three days. Finally, I went to the pediatrician.”
Initially, his doctors did not suspect vaping in his case. However, they notice something was terribly wrong with his lungs after looking at his chest X-ray.
“That’s when they saw the full damage,” Adam told CNN.
He was hospitalized for six days with a severe respiratory illness, requiring intravenous injections and breathing support.
Adam was astonished when his doctors told him he had lungs that resembled the lungs of a 70-year-old. He recalled, “It was scary to think about that – that little device did that to my lungs.”
The ongoing vaping epidemic has reached to such an extent that the Trump Administration announced that it would ban non-tobacco flavored e-cigarettes. The CDC said health officials are still investigating more than 450 cases of severe respiratory illness and six deaths possibly related to vaping.
Adam told CNN that flavored e-cigarettes tasted good and started purchasing the “cartridges at gas stations” when he was still underage.
Adam’s mother, Polly, took to Facebook to warn parents about the risks of vaping. Last week, Polly wrote, “The Juul is the DEVIL! If you love me and want to know what to do, share this post! Come have your kids see my son struggle to breathe!”
Poly told CNN, “The doctors did tell us that if we did not bring Adam in when we brought him in, his lungs would have collapsed and he would have died.” Adam said he has already started convincing some of his friends to quit vaping. 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.”