Texas teen says he nearly died after vaping: 'I really couldn’t get a whole breath in'

Justin Chan
·2-min read

A Texas teenager says he nearly died after his lung collapsed from excessive vaping, KTVT reports.

Though 17-year-old Tryston Zohfeld, of Weatherford, said he was well aware of the dangers of vaping, he dismissed initials concerns because he thought it was something cool to do.

"As a teenager you feel invincible," he told the station. "You don’t really think, 'This could happen to me,' even to somebody that you know."

Last month, however, Zohfeld reportedly began feeling pain in his chest.

"I woke up at 6:30, just throwing up everywhere," he recalled. "I could feel my heart pounding out of my chest: you know — going 100 miles per hour. I was doing these half breaths. I really couldn’t get a whole breath in, even with the inhaler."

On July 26, Zohfeld was admitted to a hospital, where his health rapidly declined.

"They did the X-ray Sunday morning and it was completely cloudy all the way through the lungs," Zohfeld's father, Matt, said in a separate interview with KXAS. "And they had cranked his oxygen up to 100, which is as high as it can go. And short of intubating him, they had the highest type of ventilator they could use, and he still wasn't getting enough oxygen."

Two days after he was admitted, Tryston was placed on a ventilator after his lung purportedly collapsed. Doctors tested the teenager for every possible virus and infection before they determined that Tryston's vaping paraphernalia, which his cousin had brought to the hospital, may have led to his illness.

Pediatric pulmonologist Karen Schultze, who has been treating Tryston, told KXAS that his lungs were so damaged that they had formed scar tissue.

Since then, Tryston, who has lost 30 pounds over the course of his treatment, has promised to never pick up an e-cigarette again.

"We don't know the long-term effects," he said. "We really only know the short-term effects. If the short-term effects are this bad, what good could come out of it?"

Recently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that it would look into 94 cases of lung disease linked to vaping in 14 states. The news comes just days after a Florida teenager's lung collapsed after he smoked Juul pods.