While vaping is widely believed to be a much healthier alternative to smoking cigarettes, one 17-year-old boy nearly lost his life because of it.
Tryston Zohfeld was fighting for his life when his seemingly healthy and athletic lungs suddenly failed on July 26.
"I woke up just throwing up everywhere, and my heart was beating out of my chest going 100 miles an hour," Zohfeld told ABC affiliate WFAA.
Not knowing what was going on and in extreme panic, Zohfeld's family rushed him to the Cook Children’s Hospital in Fort Worth, Texas. Almost immediately, doctors admitted him to the ICU and put him in a medically induced coma as his condition quickly went south. Zohfeld spent the next 10 days hooked up to an oscillatory ventilator, which kept him alive.
"The day they intubated him was the worst day of my life," Matt Zohfeld, Tryston’s father, told the outlet. "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."
Doctors ran multiple tests for a number of diseases, including pneumonia, but everything came back negative. It was only after having a chest x-ray that it became clear to doctors what the issue was. Zohfeld had a complete blockage.
"We eliminated everything that we could possibly think of that could have caused it," Dr. Karen Schultz, a specialist in pediatrics and pulmonology, told WFAA.
It was only after doctors learned through a family member that Zohfeld had been vaping for many years, that things started to make more sense for the doctors. His parents apparently had no idea of Zohfeld's habit. With this new information, doctors were able to give a proper diagnosis.
"I was definitely given a second chance, and as soon as I woke up from that coma I knew what I wanted to do," Zohfeld explained. "This is really what could happen and it’s not something to look over. They’re not as safe as you think."
His family has started a GoFundMe page to help with the costs of his hospital stay, and with his upcoming rehabilitation program. Consider giving his campaign a share, or perhaps even sending a donation his way at the link below: