A Seattle man died early Wednesday at Sky Lakes Medical Center following a vaping-related incident, Sky Lakes confirmed Friday.
The man, 23-year-old Hadynn Outcalt-Arends, was on a belated honeymoon with his wife, Courtney, 19, when he became ill, according to Outcalt-Arends’s grandmother, Robin Hurt, who lives in Washington state. The couple had been married just 19 days.
Outcalt-Arends had been using nicotine vape products for less than a year, and only used nicotine vape, according to Hurt. He purchased vape juice locally, although the family has not yet agreed to release which store Outcalt-Arends bought the juice from.
Hurt said Oucalt-Arends purchased the vape juice on his way to the Running Y Ranch Resort with his wife for their honeymoon.
Foaming at the mouth
“Later that night after they had enjoyed the day together, she went into the kitchen to prepare a late-night meal and she heard him gasping in the bedroom. She rushed to him and he was unconscious and foaming at the mouth,” Hurt said.
Outcalt-Arends was rushed to the hospital via ambulance.
“They took him to Sky Lakes where they did everything in their power to get him the best possible medical care. They had to perform life-saving measures four different times,” Hurt said.
Hurt and her husband, who raised Outcalt-Arends, were both out of state at the time. They immediately rushed to Klamath Falls to be with him.
“We wanted desperately to be there with him,” Hurt said.
Outcalt-Arends passed away around 1 a.m. Wednesday, surrounded by family.
“They [Sky Lakes staff] explained to us how it would be, that they would turn off monitors so we wouldn’t have to hear it happening. That they would stop all the medications that were the only things keeping him alive. And that it probably would only be a very short time before his body gave up after that,” Hurt said.
“They removed all of those things and we all stayed around him as he quietly passed,” she said.
The Klamath County Sheriff’s Office and the Oregon Poison Center are investigating the death, according to Hurt.
She said it is not yet known if Outcalt-Arends passed as a result of similar recent vaping-related illnesses. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 1,888 people have been sickened from the diseases, and 37 have died as of Oct. 31 in the United States, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Hurt said the Outcalt-Arends could also be a victim of a faulty product batch, and her family is exploring legal options if that is the case.
Hurt said the final possibility is that he could have passed away due to drowning, as vaping is simply vaporized liquid.
“It is most definitely related to vaping in some way,” Hurt said.
Hurt said Outcalt-Arends’s family is calling on everyone to take the danger of vaping seriously.
“This is an urgent call from us to everyone. This is not safe. It’s not safe to do and it shouldn’t be happening. He was a perfectly healthy, 23-year-old man. Not a single health problem in the world, with his life ahead of him and a new bride, and his life has been robbed, all as a result of vaping.”