Vaping Addict, 22, ‘left With 1% Chance Of Living’ Has Double Lung Transplant


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Vaping Addict, 22, ‘left With 1% Chance Of Living’ Has Double Lung Transplant
Vaping Addict, 22, ‘left With 1% Chance Of Living’ Has Double Lung Transplant

A 22-year-old man was left fighting for his life and given a one per cent chance of survival after ‘heavy’ vaping decimated his lungs.

Jackson Allard first went to hospital in October last year complaining of a stomach ache.

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Jackson Allard, 22, pictured with mum Jamie Foertsch, went to a clinic in October after complaining about stomach aches and was admitted because of low oxygen levelsCredit: GoFundMe

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He was admitted into hospital because of low oxygen levels, where he was diagnosed with Influenza 4 and double pneumoniaCredit: Valley News Live

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Jackson was left fighting for his life for months and underwent a gruelling double lung transplantCredit: Valley News Live

But the 22-year-old from Fargo, North Dakota, couldn’t have foreseen what the next three months would bring.

Despite his families pleas, Jackson had been a ‘heavy’ vaper, assuming it was less harmful than cigarettes.

But his habit left his life in peril, with a double lung transplant his only chance of survival.

As his oxygen levels were too low, doctors admitted Jackson into hospital in October 2023 and diagnosed him with a rare strain of flu – influenza 4 – and double pneumonia, meaning both his lungs were affected.

As his condition continued to deteriorate and his oxygen levels waned, medics decided to intubate Jackson a week into his hospital stay “to rest his body and give his lungs a chance to heal”, friend of the family Angela Dows, wrote in a GoFundMe appeal.

The 22-year-old’s last words before doctors inserted a tube into his windpipe were: “I am scared, I don’t want to be alone,” Angela said.

Thankfully, his parents and grandma were beside him the whole time.

When Jackson continued to show no improvement five days after being intubated, he was placed on a life support machine and transferred to the University of Minnesota hospital.

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His only option for survival was a double lung transplant.

Jackson’s grandma, Doreen Hurlburt told Valley News Live: “At one point a doctor said he had a one per cent chance of living and we said, ‘He’s fighting, he’s fought for how many weeks we’re going to give him a chance to fight, we’re not going to stop any procedures or anything’.”

To his family’s distress Jackson’s heart stopped in December, though doctors were able to resuscitate him, and he suffered an infection.

“I thought for sure we were going to lose him. I thought for sure he’s not going to survive this, but in my mind I kept picturing him coming home,” Doreen said.

Thankfully, the New Year brought Jackson a new set of lungs and he was able to undergo a double lung transplant on January 1.

In an update to the fundraiser shared by the family, Doreen wrote that “he [had] that deer in headlights” look following the operation, in disbelief that he could breathe normally again.

‘You have to stop vaping’

Jackson was finally taken off life support after 70 days.

But the path towards a full recovery will be a long one.

“His life will totally be different because of that,” Doreen told Valley News Live.

Jackson and his mum will have to stick around in Minneapolis – away from their home and work – for six months so he can attend regular checkups.

The 22-year-old can never drink alcohol or smoke ever again and he’ll need another transplant some time down the road.

Doreen said: “He said, he just wants to make sure other people don’t do what he did, vape, and end up having to go through what he went through.

“You have to stop vaping, and we kept telling him that over and over and over again, and he was a heavy vaper. He vaped all the time, but he said, ‘It’s better than cigarettes’,” she recalled.

“Well they said, with cigarettes in 50 years you’ll have lung cancer. In five years, if you vape, they will see you with permanent lung damage.”

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Studies have that the vapour in e-cigarettes could cause “significant” lung damage.

But experts argue that the habit is still safer than smoking traditional tobacco, with Brits encouraged to take up the habit to help quit cigarettes.

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Jackson can now never smoke or drink again and might need another transplant in the futureCredit: Valley News Live

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