Fort Myers man warning others after using e-cigarettes nearly killed him

On Monday, Britain confirmed its first vaping-related death. They think a factory worker’s pneumonia was caused by oil from an e-cigarette in his lungs.

Meanwhile, Nebraska also just confirmed its first vaping death.

More than a dozen people have died in the U.S. and hundreds are now sick.

Evan Dowling playing the saxophone. (Family photo)

One father in Fort Myers wound up in the hospital after just a few months of using e-cigarettes.

He spent a lifetime building a family and a career, and three months destroying it.

“It was something I just did for recreation that could cost me my living, my passion and ultimately my life,” said Evan Dowling.

The husband, dad and saxophone player said he picked up an e-cigarette with THC oil three months ago. He listened to a friend.

“It’s supposed to be safer than smoking and everything so,” said Dowling.

But what felt like a cold, turned into a weight on his chest and burning in his lungs.

“I decided I needed to go to the ER because I was just so exhausted and it was getting worse,” he said.

Evan Dowling took himself to the ER when his cold symptoms became unbearable. (Family photo)

He did the right thing this time. He’s lucky; he got better. He posted a video online as a warning.

“The doctor said if I hadn’t come in when I did, I probably would have died,” said Dowling in the Facebook video. “I have two small kids and a wife that I was facing the possibility of never getting to see again because of a stupid thing I did to myself.”

E-cigarettes, vaping; the CDC calls it a nationwide epidemic.

The Robert Williamson Band will perform at a fundraiser hosted at Cavo Lounge 7:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday in North Naples to raise money for Dowling’s medical bills. Donations will be received at the door. They are accepting cash or check in Dowling’s name.

“The thought of leaving them, my kids, with no father and my wife a widow at like 34…so it was very scary and a big wake up call for me,” said Dowling.

A call Dowling plans to spend the rest of his life answering.

Reporter:Anika Henanger
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