Newport News student recovering after vaping incident on school bus

Virginia News

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) — A Newport News student is recovering after a dangerous vaping incident landed him in the hospital.  

It happened last week while the teen was on the school bus going home.  

10 On Your Side spoke with his mother who wants parents to talk with their kids about the dangers of vaping.  

She said her son had a frightening experience after inhaling from an e-cigarette, however, the aerosol inside wasn’t what he thought.  

Darcie Bishop felt helpless as her 17-year-old son laid unconscious in a hospital bed last week following the incident.  

“His body was shaking. He was light gray. His blood pressure read 95/44,” she said. 

Bishop’s ordeal started last week when she got a call at work that her son, Cobi, blacked out while riding the bus home from Menchville High School.  

He was rushed to the hospital.

“I cried. I cried immediately,” Bishop said. “He was unresponsive. They did the chest compressions.” 

Four hours later, Bishop said her son finally started moving and started talking.   

“That’s when he explained to the doctor that he had taken a hit from a Juul,” Bishop said. “He started telling me a kid came up to him on the bus and asked him if he wanted a hit.” 

A Juul is a type of e-cigarette also known as a vape. According to the CDC, e-cigarettes produce an aerosol by heating a liquid that contains nicotine, flavorings, and other chemicals.   

Doctors initially believed the teen overdosed on drugs, however all of his tests and scans came back clear.  

Bishop said hospital staff told her about an alarming trend.  

“Kids are putting antifreeze, they’re putting liquid heat, spice and bath salts in the pods to these vapes, and they do that because it doesn’t show up on a drug screen,” Bishop said. 

Over a week later, her son is still at a rehabilitation center and they still don’t know what he inhaled.  

Bishop has this message for parents and their kids.  

“Cobi was lucky. He’s got a long road ahead of him but the next child could end up dead,” she said. “Take that few minutes and think ‘Do I take that chance?’ You know it’s not worth it.” 

Newport News Police are looking into what happened. 

The vaping incident was caught on school bus cameras. 

Bishop says the other student was suspended.   

A spokeswoman for the district said the incident is under investigation.

“Student safety is a top priority in Newport News Public Schools. We are investigating this incident and we will keep the student’s mother informed,” the spokesperson said.

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