Xander Amidon, a 17-year-old with a passion for rugby, woke up one morning and realized something wasn't right.
"A fever. I was sweating," Amidon recalled. "I felt really sick, like I was nauseous, and a massive migraine."
Doctors initially dismissed his symptoms as a virus, but it quickly spiraled into something else.
"He just didn't look right, really pale, gray," Amidon's mother, Kari Ide, said. "His oxygen level was like 86 or 87. He couldn't breathe, completely dehydrated."
The family rushed Amidon to Reading Hospital. They said doctors ran several x-rays on his chest and discovered he had a vaping-related illness. They also recalled the doctors telling them Amidon now has the lungs of a 70-year-old smoker.
"It was terrifying," Amidon said. "I didn't really know what was gonna happen."
"I just remember being there and looking at him realizing he couldn't breathe on his own, and it was terrifying," Ide said. "I thought I might lose my son."
Amidon said he got the vaping pods containing THC from friends.
"It's everywhere basically in school. You can't help it, literally everywhere."
Now, two weeks after that scare, Amidon is back home, 30 pounds lighter, short of breath, and uncertain about what will come next.
"It's really heartbreaking, but I just want him to get better," Ide said. "No one can tell us if he's going to get better."
Amidon said he wants to teach others and hopefully prevent his friends and classmates from enduring the same pain.
"It's not worth it. It really isn't it," Amidon said. "You only have one life."