A Charlotte County couple says they nearly lost their teenage son to vaping. Now, the family is sharing their story in the hopes of saving others.
“I was in the hospital for vaping THC dab darts. They were fake. I can’t stress this enough: all you underage people, don’t vape,” said 15-year-old Nikolaus DiLuzio in a YouTube video.
It serves as a warning from the teen who almost lost his life, that he has that chance to share.
“I was in the hospital, hospitalized, for 12 days. And damn, did it scare me,” he said.
Now that DiLuzio is back home, he’s opening up about his experience alongside his mother on YouTube.
They say the reason for his sudden and serious illness was vaping. His family says doctors diagnosed him with respiratory failure and say he needed a machine to help him breathe.
Doctors say for patients so young and when everything else is ruled out, vaping is usually to blame.
“Vaping can cause quite a havoc in the lung,” said Dr. Farrah Kheradmand with Baylor College of Medicine. “It is completely different from what cigarette smoke does. Vaping is not safe; chronic vaping is even worse.”
“It can be very severe; it can be very life-threatening,” said Dr. Tim Dougherty with Lee Health.
“Everyone thought I was going to die,” Nikolaus said. “My mom would just sit there and squeeze my hand as I was not being able to breathe.”
“She was locked in that room and watched everything,” said his father, Keith DiLuzio.
The teen feels fortunate to share his story and hopes others heed the warning.
“I don’t want underage teens or adults to go through what I had to go through,” he said. “You need to stop. Because even if you’re younger, it’ll catch up to you.”
After more than a week in the pediatric intensive care unit, DiLuzio left the hospital, but he’s still recovering. He has to take medication and practice breathing exercises every day.
- CDC | Smoking and Tobacco Use: E-Cigarettes, Vaping
- Harvard Medical School | EVALI: New information on vaping induced lung injury
- American Lung Association | E-cigarette or vaping use-associated lung injury (EVALI)
- Radiological Society of North America | Abnormal Imaging Findings Key to EVALI Diagnosis in Vapers
- SmokeFree.gov | How to Quit Vaping
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration | National Helpline