Only four months after he started vaping Christopher Machelski told a cautionary tale from the Medical City Las Colinas Hospital. Machelski’s been there for a week with severe lung damage, struggling to breathe.

“This is not worth it. Don’t do it. Don’t smoke. Don’t vape,” Machelski said.

Over the past several months Machelski has vaped almost daily. He admits he purchased questionable THC vape cartridges from out of state, but doctors warn any form of vaping should be done with caution.

After a few nights where he dealt with severe shortness of breath, Machelski went to see pulmonologist Samer Fahoum at Medical City Las Colinas. He’s thankful he did, because if he didn’t, things may have been a lot worse.

“He could have died,” Dr. Fahoum said. “He was actually requiring very high oxygen supply and he was lucky to actually not be getting much worse, to be intubated, and put on life support.”

Thankfully Chris’ condition has improved, but his case is one of 17 Dallas County hospitalizations linked to vaping. All of those hospitalizations have taken place since August. Health officials say the average patient is 19 years old, but half of the cases involve people under the age of 18.

“So, unfortunately, I was one of those people that kind of took on to the trend because it was something new,” Machelski said.

“Vaping is dangerous and we are now seeing the effect. It is not only long-term, but it is also acute, especially in the short-term," Fahoum said.

Machelski said he started vaping as a way to deal with stress, but admits he shouldn’t have taken that option.

“There’s other ways to deal with stress, there’s other ways to deal with those things,” Machelski said. “I guess I was just kind of stupid and young and naïve and made a bad choice, and unfortunately I’m paying the consequences for it.”

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