On Wednesday, an e-cigarette exploded in Otis Gooding’s pocket without warning, leaving him severely burned and scared for his future.
“He’s scared about using his hands and being able to walk. Those burns really made him suffer. He’s going through a lot of pain. To be honest, I don’t think he’s going to be recovering anytime soon,” Joshua Barker, Gooding’s brother, told the New York Daily News.
“My brother is a good guy. I look up to him. To see this happen made me cry. That’s why I’m here supporting him,” he added. Barker has taken up a hospital vigil beside his brother and has remained there through Thanksgiving.
According to his lawyer, Sanford Rubenstein, Gooding was working his shift at the Central Cellar wine shop in Grand Central Terminal when the device spontaneously combusted. He suffered severe third-degree burns on his right hand and leg. The burns required skin graft surgery.
“His right hand is badly burned and he may not be able to have full use. He’s scared about that,” Rubenstein said.
According to Rubenstein, Gooding wasn’t sure of the exact make of the e-cigarette but remembered where he bought it.
“He knows how to find the store by sight, and once he’s well enough to do so, we’ll take him there so he can show us,” Rubenstein said.