FORT MILL, S.C. — A Fort Mill teen is at home recovering after breathing problems linked to vaping led to a five-day stay at Levine Children's Hospital in Charlotte.
WCNC spoke exclusively to the boy's mother, Stephanie Walters, who says they initially thought it was her son's asthma acing up, but when they took him to urgent care, doctors immediately called an ambulance.
Logan, 17, spent five days at the hospital, including one in the pediatric intensive care unit.
"It came to a point where they almost had to intubate Logan," Walters said. "He was struggling so hard to breathe."
Walters says she initially didn't even consider the possibility of vaping as the cause for her son's breathing problems. It took a couple of days at the hospital before doctors were able to make the connection.
"They showed us on the X-ray, between his ribs there was this gel-like substance," Walters said.
Doctors said it was a buildup caused by years of vaping. Walters said her son started vaping when he was 14, despite her warnings.
"They think it's the cool thing," she said. "They think, 'everybody is doing it. It's safe, it's no big deal.'"
Logan's stay in the hospital is just one of hundreds of cases of lung disease nationwide linked to vaping. In many instances, the kids don't even know what they're inhaling.
"They had a network of trading different flavors, making different flavors, mixing different flavors, making their own, just like candy," Walters said.
After doctors determined vaping was the cause of Logan's symptoms, Walters said he handed over his vape, which was still in his pocket.
"He started posting on social media, 'Vaping did this to me. Don't be like me, you don't have to be in the hospital with machines breathing for you,'" Walters explained.