OAK CREEK — A sobering warning from an Oak Creek High School teen who was hospitalized for vaping. The teen, who did not want to be identified, shared their message in a letter to Oak Creek High School and other teens.
"I was too weak to do anything. I felt like I was not a normal person. I really never thought this would happen to me," wrote the teen.
The letter was read by Oak Creek High School athletic director Scott Holler. He said he now sees students weekly who violated the code of conduct by vaping in school.
"I started vaping as a freshman. I'm not even sure why," wrote the teen. "Two years later, I got sick for like a month."
The child was one of the dozens of teens and young adults in th Milwaukee-area who have been hospitalized from vaping.
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"I permanently damaged my lungs," wrote the teen. "I hated being in the hospital because I could not do anything. I did not do anything. I was too weak to do anything."
Eleven teens were hospitalized at Children's Hospital in Milwaukee between July and August. By the end of September, the Wisconsin Department of Health reported 60 case of severe lung damage from vaping.
Children's Hospital pulmonologist Dr. Luella Amos and her team uncovered the vaping crisis.
"They want to know the chemical behind it. It’s very hard to determine what caused the lung injury. It is not one chemical. It’s not one it’s too complicated," said Amos.
In August, the City of Milwaukee Health Department issued a public health alert urging people to stop using the products immediately.
"I learned the hard way vaping is not worth the damage it does to you," wrote the teen.