SOUTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, Fla. (WSVN) — A Naples man is in a medically-induced coma at a Miami hospital after an electronic cigarette exploded in his face.
Twenty-one-year-old Evan Spahlinger was badly burned after the blast from the e-cigarette.
Spahlinger’s sister, Eva Richardson, said the explosion startled her. “I was laying in bed with my 2-year-old, and I heard an explosion,” she said. “Then I started smelling burning smoke and fire.”
She said she found her brother on the floor of her North Naples home. She said the electronic cigarette exploded as he was smoking it, and some of the soot from the explosion can still be seen on her tile floor. “I found my brother not breathing, with his whole face burned and his neck burned,” she said, “and like, trying to throw up a little. Maybe it was gasping for air.”
He was transported to a Naples hospital and then airlifted to Kendall Regional Medical Center, where doctors at the intensive care unit of the hospital’s Burn Center put him in a medically induced coma. “They said he has internal and external burns and damage to his lungs from the explosion itself,” Richardson said, “and possibly the mouthpiece went — when the cigarette exploded — it went down his throat and exploded again.”
Spahlinger’s mother, Alissa Stefanacci, traveled to South Florida to be by his side. She told 7News she hopes he pulls through. “He’s my baby. He just turned 21 last week,” she said.
Officials said the explosion was likely caused by the lithium battery inside the e-cigarette. Before being put into the coma, Richardson said her brother said one thing about e-cigarettes. “He said, ‘I’m done, that’s it.’ That’s the only thing he said. Luckily, I was here,” she said. “It was the most traumatic experience I think, of my life.”
“I haven’t cried yet, but I’m sure I’ll have my day,” said Stefanacci.
Now, Spahlinger’s loved ones hope others will learn from her brother’s story and at least be more cautious. “We want people to know the risk and dangers. Had Evan known, maybe he wouldn’t have chosen to smoke the electronic cigarette,” Richardson said.
Spahlinger remains in critical but stable condition, Wednesday night.
It’s far from the first time this has happened. Recently, a California jury awarded a woman $2 million after an e-cigarette exploded — leaving her with serious burns.
How We Can Help
If you, a friend or a family member find themselves in a situation such as this, please call the Law Office of Scott A. Ferris, P.A. at 305 670-3330 right away. Scott A. Ferris, Esq. is a licensed civil law attorney who has been practicing law since 1987. He is available whenever you need him to pursue your rights. Please learn about our firm at www.FerrisLawFirm.com.
Republished by the Law Office of Scott A. Ferris, P.A.