Man Returns Home After Mysterious Vaping-Related Illness Causes Respiratory Failure

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LOOMIS -- A 21-year-old man from Loomis returned home after respiratory failure forced him into a medically induced coma.

"I really thought I may have not made it," said Ricky D’Ambrosio.

D’Ambrosio's doctors say vaping is to blame.

“These vaping products are causing significant inflammation in the lungs,” Dr. Samjot S. Dhillon with Kaiser Permanente's Roseville Medical Center, told FOX40.

D’Ambrosio started vaping in high school.

“I have been vaping off and on since I was 16,” D’Ambrosio said. “It was really popular when we were all in high school and my buddies and I would sit in the car and we'd vape in the morning.”

“None of us knew that this could ever happen,” D’Ambrosio said.

The illnesses are linked to vaping and there are possible treatments, says Dhillon.

“Intravenous steroids, anti-inflammatories, like antibiotics, as needed, along with full-spectrum of aggressive critical care, like which is provided in the state of the art intensive care units,” Dhillon said.

The long-term health impact on D’Ambrosio is unknown.

“There are still times where it’s hard to get up the stairs or walk long distances,” D’Ambrosio said.

As he recovers, the Department of Health will analyze D’Ambrosio’s remaining Juul cartridges. They hope to learn more about the mysterious illnesses affecting hundreds of people.

Meanwhile, D’Ambrosio’s family started a campaign urging others to “Break the Vape.”

“I will never vape again,” D’Ambrosio said. "That is definitely one thing I stand behind."

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