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Cadott mother shares sons near-death experience vaping black market cartridge

Chippewa County (WQOW) – The effects of vaping are still unknown, but it has been linked to countless hospitalizations and deaths across the country.

A Cadott mom is speaking out after she said her son, Devyn McCormick, was hospitalized after using a black market cartridge that almost killed him.

“It was one of the most terrifying times of my life,” said Tiffanie Janzen, Devyn’s mom.

On Oct. 2, Tiffanie Janzen got a phone call no parent ever wants. Her son had been found unresponsive at a friend’s home in Lake Wissota, foaming at the mouth.

“I got there and the ambulances and the cops and everybody was still there just getting him stabilized,” Janzen said. “They had to intubate him on the scene.”

McCormick was transported to St. Joseph’s Hospital in Chippewa Falls, where his family rallied behind him, hoping they’d see him responsive again.

But what made him so sick, they wouldn’t know until later.

Janzen said her son was given multiple doses of Narcan which didn’t help him. He ended up on a ventilator for 22 hours and was unresponsive for five to six hours.

The toxicology report couldn’t find anything in his system except marijuana, and his blood-alcohol level only came in at .01.

Later one of McCormick’s friends told Janzen he might have inhaled a “cart” which is used for vaping.

The bad news got worse when Janzen found out her son had bought it on the black market, meaning the family will likely never know what was really in it.

“As more and more friends showed up they all said the same thing, that these are going around,” Janzen said. “They are making people sick; they are killing people. These are killing our children, our neighbors, our friends.”

Janzen said she wasn’t sure if her son would ever open his eyes again, and neither did his friends, that came out in masses to say goodbye.

“Normally the ICU, I know does not allow so many people but I think that was the nurse’s way of saying he may not make it out of this and if people need to come say goodbye then that’s what they allowed to happen,” Janzen said.

Luckily, Devyn’s condition took a turn upwards, and after being in the hospital for almost 48 hours, he was stable enough to go home and recover.

Janzen said after almost losing her son, she wants her son’s story to send a message to never buy anything from the black market.

“Talk to your kids,” Janzen said. “Talk to your adult kids, talk to your friends talk to your families. Make sure that people know that this is out there.”

Janzen said there is an on-going investigation in Chippewa Falls regarding the black market cartridge her son used.

Chippewa County Sheriff Jim Kowalczyk confirmed his office is investigating the case.


Shannon Satterlee

Shannon Satterlee joined News 18 in February 2018 as a Multi-Media Journalist.

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