Vaping has become increasingly popular in recent years, largely because it’s considered a less harmful alternative to smoking. But a 17-year-old boy from Texas has ended up with life threatening health complications as a result of the supposedly harmless device, People reports.
Tryston Zohfeld, a usually athletic, healthy teenager ended up on life support after his lungs suddenly stopped uhhh… giving him oxygen on July 26. Lungs are a pretty integral part of your body, the thought of your lungs just one day calling it quits is pretty terrifying.
“I woke up just throwing up everywhere, and my heart was beating out of my chest going 100 miles an hour,” Zohfeld said.
After a trip to the Cook Children’s Hospital in Fort Worth, Texas, the 17-year-old was medically induced into a coma. He remained on life support for 10 days.
“The day they intubated him was the worst day of my life,” Matt Zohfeld, Tryston’s father, told press. “We walked into this hospital very naive about what we were dealing with.”
Lung x-rays depicted a complete blockage in Tryston’s lungs, leaving doctors to question whether it was an underlying disease or pneumonia causing the lung problems. However, these conditions were ultimately eliminated when a family member mentioned his excessive vaping habits.
“The lightbulb started coming on,” his father recalled. “It started making sense why we weren’t finding anything else.”
The chemicals in the e-liquid allegedly caused an inflammation in Tryston’s lungs, which caused scarring and significant damage.
Vaping has come under intense scrutiny in recent weeks and months, as health professionals start to question the devices and their long term impacts. Unlike smoking, vaping has only become popular in recent years, so it is extremely difficult to comprehend and predict the long term consequences of opting for a vape instead of a smoke.
Tryston isn’t the first person to suffer serious lung complications as a result of vaping, with countless headlines telling eerily similar stories of other vape users.
In the US, there are currently more than 200 cases of vape related lung and/or neurological illnesses that have potential links to vaping. Nicotine vape e-liquids are currently illegal in Australia, but there is limited research on the potential dangers of any e-liquid, including those that are nicotine free.
“We had no idea if he was going to make it through or not,” his father added. “That was very difficult to come to terms with.”