Pennsylvania man on life support after doctors say vaping caused critical illness

PHILADELPHIA (KYW/CNN) - The mother and father of a 19-year-old man in Pennsylvania are warning others after they say their son fell into a coma after vaping.

Kevin Boclair, 19, is on life support, and his prognosis is not clear. Doctors have told his parents, Deborah and Len Boclair, they suspect their son’s critical illness was brought on by vaping. The couple is distraught and hoping for a miracle.

Kevin Boclair, 19, is on life support, and his prognosis is not clear. He was hospitalized nearly three weeks ago after a coughing spell triggered by asthma caused the formation of tiny holes in his lungs.
Kevin Boclair, 19, is on life support, and his prognosis is not clear. He was hospitalized nearly three weeks ago after a coughing spell triggered by asthma caused the formation of tiny holes in his lungs. (Source: Boclair Family photos/KYW/CNN)

“Imagine your best friend dead in a bed with tubes coming out of every possible place you could think of,” Deborah Boclair said.

The Boclairs are gravely concerned about what doctors believe happened to their son.

“It’s hard. You sit there and you go, ‘This could never happen to me.’ All of a sudden, I’m living it,” Len Boclair said.

Kevin Boclair ended up in the hospital nearly three weeks ago. A coughing spell triggered by asthma caused the formation of tiny holes in his lungs. His condition grew more dire about 10 days ago, and he was transferred to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, where he is on a heart and lung bypass machine.

“The doctors are saying the chemicals in the vape actually changes the tissue of the lungs, and it gets damaged. That damaged part actually scars up, and that never gets better,” Deborah Boclair said.

The Boclairs are now determined to spread the word about what happened to their son.

“I even know, as a nurse, he could die. So, we are hoping it gets better, and I just want his friends and all these kids out there — I could tell the parents, ‘Tell your kids don’t do this,’” Deborah Boclair said. “I want everybody to stop because even the doctors will say they don’t know everything about it — it’s newer.”

The Centers for Disease Control says there are harmful chemicals in vapes and e-cigarettes. They also say there is much that scientists need to learn about these products.

Copyright 2019 KYW, Boclair Family photos via CNN. All rights reserved.