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Teen vaper hospitalized for weeks struggling to breathe due to lung failure

A 17-year-old vaper from Texas was hospitalized for weeks due to lung failure. Tryston Zohfeld’s lungs were completely blocked up as a result of vaping, his doctors said.

Despite being a healthy and athletic kid, on 26 July 2019, Tryston’s lungs stopped working.

He was immediately rushed to the Cook Children’s Hospital in Texas’ Fort Worth, where he was admitted to the intensive care unit and placed under a medically induced coma.

For 10 days he was hooked up to an oscillatory ventilator, which kept him alive.

“I woke up just throwing up everywhere, and my heart was beating out of my chest going 100 miles an hour,” Tryston told WFAA.

His father, Matt Zohfeld, said: “The day they intubated him was the worst day of my life.

“We walked into this hospital very naive about what we were dealing with.

“We had no idea if he was going to make it through or not. That was very difficult to come to terms with.”

An X-ray of Tryston’s lungs revealed that there was a complete blockage. The doctors ran every test that they could think of and checked for a whole load of illnesses but came up with no answers.

Dr. Karen Schultz, the pulmonary and pediatric specialist at the hospital, said: “We eliminated everything that we could possibly think of that could have caused it.”

Eventually, a family member divulged that Tryston was a habitual vaper. That gave the doctors an idea of what the problem could be.

His dad continued: “The lightbulb started coming on.

“It started making sense why we weren’t finding anything else.”

Basically, the doctors thought that the chemicals that Tryston was inhaling through his vape device had caused his lungs to inflate to such a level that they were then unable to exchange oxygen and carbon dioxide anymore.

It had even left scarring on his lungs, according to CBS.

In total, Tryston spent 18 days in the hospital and is now grateful to be alive.

After dropping 30 pounds and losing a lot of leg muscle, the teenager had to relearn how to walk.

“I was definitely given a second chance, and as soon as I woke up from that coma I knew what I wanted to do,” Tryston added.

“This is really what could happen and it’s not something to look over.

“They’re not as safe as you think.”

He promised his doctors that he would never vape again.

Paul joined the Manchester Evening News in 2004 and Tosbos in 2022. A senior reporter, he's experienced in crime and court reporting - and also holds the defense portfolio.


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