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Clay County teen hospitalized due to lung damage from vaping

A local teen is fighting for his life. What started out as the common flu quickly turned critical due to damage to his lungs from vaping.

Tyler Combs is just 15-years-old, but right now he’s fighting for every breath he takes.

“The scariest thing was when he told me three days ago, ‘Mama, I feel like I’m going to die,'” said his mom, Sarah Combs.

Tyler has been in the ICU at Wolfson Children’s Hospital for the past 10 days. He got the flu like many do, but his body couldn’t fight it off – he couldn’t breathe.

“There’s so much damage. They finally did a CT scan. He has damage to his lungs that he’s going to have the rest of his life due to the vaping.”

Tyler tells Action News Jax he vaped several times a day for almost a year. He says he was addicted, getting the product from a friend who he says got it from someone else.

His mom explains, “Every time he was caught with one, he somehow found a way to get another one.”

Tyler now hopes others will stop vaping.

“Now my son is begging and pleading with all of his friends, everybody his age, all the kids please do not be vaping.”

His mother hasn’t left his side, sleeping on the cot next to him. She cries knowing he’s in pain, but she hopes Tyler can be an example for others to stop.

“I don’t care if you vape for a year, I don’t care if you vape one time, two times a week, it’s bad. Stop, please because I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy.”

Dani Bozzini/Action News JAX