PADUCAH, Ky (WPSD) — Nearly 400 cases of vaping-related illnesses have been reported across the United States, according to the CDC, and one of the latest recorded is a western Kentucky man.
Marshall County native Eli Sirls is 23-years-old, but his doctor said his lungs look more like 150.
"These lungs were not able to sustain life on their own, " said Dr. Keith Kelly, a pulmonologist at Baptist Health Paducah.
Just days ago Sirls was on life-support. He said he had been vaping THC for about a month, but he told WPSD he became ill after buying a cartridge on August 30th.
"Couldn't eat, just cause I couldn't -- didn't have any breath, didn't have the energy, " Sirls explained.
Sirls told WPSD he was nauseous, vomiting and had a fever of 103-degrees. His family brought him to Baptist Health in Paducah where he was on a ventilator for several days. His lung collapsed twice during his hospital stay.
"I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy, " Sirls said.
Fortunately, Dr. Keith Kelly said he expected Sirls to make a full recovery.
"90% of all of this is the body being able to repair itself, " Dr. Kelly said.
Dr. Kelly said Sirls' case is the first vaping-related illness he is aware of in western Kentucky.
Sirls told WPSD he is already feeling better, and he wanted to tell his story in hopes of saving someone else's life.
"If you don't do it for yourself, do it for the ones who love you, " pleaded Sirls.
According to the latest CDC data there are 380 cases of vaping related illnesses reported in 36 states, including Kentucky. There are now seven confirmed deaths.