Man in hospital with serious injuries after e-cigarette explodes in his face

A man's family is sharing their story in hopes of keeping the accident that happened to their loved one from happening to someone else.

Cordero Caples, from Memphis, Tennessee, was in surgery for most of the day on Sunday in a hospital in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

He sustained fractured vertebrae, facial fractures, and busted teeth among other injuries after an electronic cigarette exploded last Friday.

"It's going to be a long, intensive recovery process," Colessia Porter, the victim's sister said. "I ask that the City of Memphis keep us in your prayers. We need them. He needs them."

Caples goes to college in Colorado, and is studying to be a personal trainer.

According to Porter, doctors aren't sure if her brother will be able to walk again.

"He has a very outgoing personality. He's that guy that can do whatever in the world he wants to do," Porter said. "He's really, really into fitness, and he's really good at it. That's what he was in school to do, but with an injury like this, it puts those things in question. I'm just hopeful he can make a speedy recovery and a full recovery."

An employee at VaporWize, a smoke shop in Memphis, immediately noticed something amiss when FOX 13 Memphis showed her the photo of Caples' combusted e-cigarette.

"This is way too powerful to power this," Mary Grace Burns said as she described the pieces Caples used for his vaporizer. "Way too hot of a battery. You can have a way-too-high amped battery in there or something like that could easily misfire and cause something like that. It's operator error though."

FOX 13 reports that e-cigarettes are sold in parts. The two main parts are the battery tank and the coil on top that heats to create the vapor.

According to Burns, the combination that made up Caples' cigarette was incompatible.

She also said that users should purchase products from trusted stores and be wary of online sellers.

"They think it's just an easy little hobby, but they aren't watching the videos on YouTube of how to do it, or coming in here, to get us to teach them how to do it," Burns said.

When asked if e-cigarettes are safe, Burns said, "Completely, 100 percent."

"As long as you get direct instruction, and you know what you're doing, and you feel comfortable enough to do it, I think it's completely safe."

Caples does not have medical insurance, and his family is struggling to pay his medical bills. If you would like to help, visit his GoFundMe account.

"I come from the great state of Tennessee," Porter said. "We have great people in the City of Memphis, and we believe in helping one another. So I ask my city to help us in this transition."