A 17-Year-Old's Vaping Habit Completely Blocks His Lungs; Now He's Fighting For His Life

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Who Is Tryston Zohfeld? New Details On Texas Teen Whose Vaping Habit Blocked His Lungs, Almost Killed Him

One day, 17-year-old Tryston Zohfeld was a typical teen. The next, he was fighting for his life. On July 26, Zohfeld's seemingly healthy lungs failed him. Zohfeld told WFAA: “I woke up just throwing up everywhere, and my heart was beating out of my chest going 100 miles an hour." His family rushed him to the hospital in Fort Worth, Texas. He was admitted to the ICU and put in a medically-induced coma as his condition deteriorated rapidly. Doctors raced to figure out what was wrong with Tryston so they could save his life. As it turns out, the vaping habit he had caused his lungs to completely shut down. Who is Tryston Zohfeld?

1. He was on a ventilator for 10 days

Tryston was rushed to Cook Children's Hospital and hooked up to an oscillatory ventilator, which breathed for him and kept him alive. He was on the ventilator for 10 days. Matt Zohfeld, Tryston's father told the local ABC affiliate: “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.”

2. His parents didn't know he even vaped

Doctors ran tests for a number of diseases, including pneumonia. All the tests came back negative. X-rays showed his lungs were completely blocked. Doctors eliminated possible diseases one by one but couldn't figure out what was wrong with Tryston. Finally, a family member told doctors that Tryston had been regularly vaping since he was in 8th grade. His parents had no idea. 

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3. His lungs are scarred for life

The chemicals Tryston inhaled from the vape pen caused his lungs to inflame to a point where they could no longer exchange oxygen and carbon dioxide. His lungs are scarred for life.

4. He isn't the only one

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is currently investigating 153 cases of severe lung disease they believe are linked to vaping. Even scarier, these 153 cases are all from the time period between June 28 and August 20. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is investigating 127 cases of seizures and other neurological conditions they believe are linked to e-cigarettes. 

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5. 18 days in the hospital

Tyston was released from the hospital after 18 days. Doctors told him it could take up to two years to feel like himself again. He requires extensive rehab and physical therapy. He and all of his friends have thrown out their vape pens. He plans to share his story to try and get the word out about the serious dangers of vaping. Tryston told WFAA: “I was definitely given a second chance, and as soon as I woke up from that coma I knew what I wanted to do. This is really what could happen and it’s not something to look over. They’re not as safe as you think.”

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6. Vape-related death

Just last week, an Illinois resident who was a habitual vaper was hospitalized with severe respiratory illness and died. This is believed to be the first vaping-related death in the U.S.

Amy Lamare is a Los Angeles based writer and editor covering entertainment, pop culture, beauty, fashion, fitness, technology, and the intersection of technology, business, and philanthropy. You can find her on Instagram and Facebook.