A NURSE claims that vaping made him “face death” when he needed agonizing surgery to remove part of his collapsed lung.
Jonathan Belcher said he started smoking when he was 17 and developed an addiction so severe that he smoked 20 cigarettes a day.
But last month the now 22-year-old woke up breathless and with excruciating pain in his left shoulder, like “a balloon was about to burst”.
He said it made him feel like he was “dying.”
Frightened, Jonathan was rushed to the hospital, where he burst into tears when doctors told him his left lung had been punctured and collapsed.
The trapped air began crushing him and his heart, leading to a condition known as pneumothorax.
The surgeons then inserted a tube to force the air out, but when his lungs didn’t heal naturally, they removed an upper quarter to plug the hole.
The auxiliary nurse, who claims he’s “faced death”, admits he’s now having trouble sleeping.
Due to his weakened lungs, he feels completely out of breath even after simple tasks like making phone calls.
Jonathan from Covington, Virginia, USA said: “I woke up dying [that morning].
“I was terrified and just knew something was really wrong, but I didn’t know what.
“It felt like my shoulder was a balloon about to burst.
“I was really short of breath and every breath I took made the pain in my shoulder worse.”
“It was only two minutes to the hospital, but that was the longest and scariest two minutes of my life. I really looked death in the face.”
“The moment they said, ‘You can call your mom, your lung has collapsed and it’s really bad,’ I just burst into tears.”
Jonathan said his mother “screamed” on the phone because she was very worried about her boy.
After recovering, the healthcare worker has vowed never to touch an e-cigarette again.
He said: “It sounds awful but I would really use any vape I could get my hands on. It was just addicting.”
“I smoked about 20 cigarettes a day.
“My medical records say I had spontaneous chest tension from vaping.”
The whole experience was terrifying, painful and so bad that I will never touch a device that produces smoke again.
Jonathan, who was released on May 9, said his lungs were able to function on their own but would be weaker for the rest of his life.
The former “addict” wants to raise awareness of the potential dangers of using the devices so no one else has to go through the same “trauma.”
Jonathan said: “I’m having a really hard time sleeping – I wake up sweating really badly all night.
“I could no longer do normal things without getting out of breath, instead having to sit down to catch my breath after a phone call.”
“I’ve totally quit vaping.
“The whole experience was terrifying, painful and so bad that I will never touch a device that produces smoke again.”
“I totally understand that quitting is very difficult and ultimately addictive.”
“But after the pain I endured, the trauma it caused and the problems it has caused in my life since then, the best advice I can give for trying to quit smoking is to believe that will happen to you too.”