Brooklyn Park Father Opens Up About Son’s Vaping Illness
It’s been an agonizing couple weeks for Sedric McClure and his family. They have spent countless hours at North Memorial Health Hospital in Robbinsdale visiting their son Elijah.
Last month Elijah was put in ICU with lung injuries that his parents believe are related to vaping.
“It’s not a good sight, not a good feeling to walk into the hospital and to see your otherwise healthy son in that condition,” McClure said. “We got to the hospital and saw all the tubes coming out of his mouth and nose and so forth. We were absolutely devastated.”
Elijah McClure, a 21-year old Augsburg student, once played basketball and football for Park Center. On Wednesday, his parents received some good news. Their son was healthy enough to come off a respirator.
“He began to throw up to the point where it became violent,” McClure said. “We just don’t know what long-term impacts there will be. In many ways we are going to have to discover it.”
Family Story’s Put in National Spotlight
The McClures’ story suddenly thrust them into the national spotlight. They decided to take on the challenge to warn others about vaping.
“This is not just a personal matter,” McClure said. “This is an epidemic.”
According to Richard Danila, infectious disease researcher with the Minnesota Department of Health, vaping is not safe.
“Vaping is not a good alternative to smoking,” Danila said. “Vaping on its own is not good. Certainly vaping any bootleg product that you might buy on the street, or buy from a drug dealer is doubly not good. Particularly in light of this outbreak.”
In recent years, there has been an explosion of youth vaping across the nation. Medical officials say that has caused an alarming number of illnesses. There have been 37 cases of lung injuries in Minnesota and 425 in the U.S.
“We think that this outbreak here in Minnesota and all across the country is related to vaping elicit THC somehow,” Danila said. “We don’t really know the ultimate cause.”
THC is a chemical component found in marijuana.
“It’s been extracted and put into a vaping device or into vaping juice,” Danila said.
Meanwhile, Sedric McClure is now on a mission to teach others about the repercussions from vaping.
“This is not a safe alternative to tobacco whatsoever,” McClure said. “In fact it may even be worse.”
Because of his son’s misfortune, Sedric has learned a lot about something he knew little about.
“For us and for me it has been a crash course on this phenomena of vaping,” McClure.