ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – While still grieving, the family of 28-year-old Kyle Boyd wants others to fight back against what they’re calling a “silent epidemic:” vaping.
The Orange County family blames Boyd’s death on vaping, saying he died from a case of pneumonia that has been linked to vaping.
“He came in with the inability to absorb any oxygen into his lungs,” Donald Boyd, Kyle’s father, said. “They literally could not force oxygen into his lungs.”
Boyd died over the weekend after his family said Boyd went to bed earlier in the week and never woke up.
A report from the medical examiner’s office details how hospital staff members believe vaping likely contributed to Boyd’s death. It also shows negative results from the toxicology report.
“He was not using a manipulated pod. He was not using THC,” Boyd’s father said.
Boyd’s father said the Timber Creek High School alumnus had used the vaping brand Vuse on and off for years, despite recent warnings to stop.
“In his mind, it was a better choice,” Donald Boyd said. “I was duped as well. I think, as parents, we’re duped into thinking, ‘He’s not smoking cigarettes, so this must be a safer alternative.’”
A sample of Boyd’s lung has been sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for further testing. Boyd’s family is now in the process of joining a class action lawsuit, as well as looking into filing their own lawsuit against e-cigarette companies.
“We need to hurt them,” Donald Boyd said. “We need to hurt them. They are hurting us and fooling our children into thinking this is safe. It’s not about the money, it’s about putting enough pressure on them to stop what they’re doing. They’re making millions and millions of dollars off killing our children and they need to be stopped.”
Parts of Boyd’s body were able to be saved and donated. His family said it’s a sign of hope seeing four people benefit from Kyle’s death.
News 6 reached out to R.J. Reynolds Tobacco, which owns Vuse but has not heard back following the request for comment.
The family is asking for donations to be made to Matthew’s Hope in their son’s name. Matthew’s Hope is a homeless outreach, which helps those in the community dealing with various addictions, health issues, financial challenges and more.
To donate to Matthew’s Hope, text MHM to 41444, or visit MatthewsHopeMinistries.org and use the “donate” button.