Teen with vaping-related illness now has the lungs of a 70-year-old
A teenage student-athlete in Gurnee, Illinois was left fighting for his life after being hospitalised as a result of a year and a half long vaping habit, CNN reports.
Now, according to 18-year-old Adam Hergenreder - who particularly enjoyed mint and mango-flavoured e-cigarettes - he essentially has the lungs of a 70-year-old.
"It was scary to think about that – that little device did that to my lungs," Hergenreder said, per CNN.
Since being admitted to a hospital in Libertyville with a "vaping-induced acute lung injury" on Saturday, the teenager has been unable to breathe without oxygen tubes, the Chicago Tribune reports.
This North Texas teenager nearly died of lung failure and doctors are blaming his problem on e-cigarettes:
Hergenreder, who started vaping at the age of 16, told the Chicago Tribune that he refused to quit the habit despite his parents, teachers and health officials urging him to do so.
Then suddenly, he experienced days of uncontrolled vomiting. He is expected to spend months recovering and has been informed that there is a possibility that his lungs have been permanently damaged from scarring due to inflammation.
"People just see that little pod and think, how could that do anything to my body?" Hergenreder said on Tuesday from the Advocate Condell Medical Center, according to the New York Post. "I’m glad I could be an example and show people that [vaping products] aren’t good at all. They will mess up your lungs."
"When I first started Juuling, I didn’t know what nicotine was, so I just thought it was vape juice," the teen told WLS-TV. "I don’t even know what vape juice is."
Through treatment via oxygen tubes, steroids and antibiotics, Hergenreder's condition has seen signs of improvement.
Alarmingly, though, Hergenreder is one of at least 27 patients in Illinois who have received medical treatment in recent weeks for severe respiratory illnesses, including one who died, according to the Tribune.