Yet another teenager’s lungs are failing after vaping, leaving him fighting for his life in a Texas hospital.
Tryston Zohfeld, 17, woke up vomiting violently as his heart raced last one morning last month.
The terrified teenager was rushed to the hospital where doctors were stumped by a condition that looked like pneumonia, but wasn’t.
At last, Tryston’s family mentioned a crucial detail to the doctors: Tryston had been vaping between two and three ‘pods’ a week, and had been using e-cigs since the eighth grade.
State health officials and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are investigating how vaping might have triggered devastating lung damage to at least 127 US teenagers and young adults who all share e-cig use in common.
After weeks of fatigue and a morning of vomiting and a racing heart, Tryston Zohfeld, 17 was rushed to the hospital where he had to be put on life support as his lungs failed. Doctors suspect vaping may have triggered his illness – and those of another 127 people in the US
Tryston is recovering after spending 18 days in the intensive care unit at Cook Children’s Hospital in Fort Worth, Texas.
‘We don’t know for sure,’ that vaping is causing respiratory illnesses like Tryston’s, said Dr Suzanne Whitworth, infectious disease director at Cook Children’s, but e-cigarettes are a primary suspect.
‘There are literature reports of hypersensitivity pneumonitis from vaping.
‘I told [Tryston] no inhaling anything again, ever.
‘We still don’t know for sure what the trigger was. But it is very plausible that it could be due to his vaping,’ Dr Whitworth said.’
For weeks before he was rushed to the ER, Tryston had been dropping weight, feeling nauseous and feverish and generally exhausted.’
‘I was tired all the time. My energy was low. I was losing some weight,’ he said.
When doctors examined the teenager’s lungs, they saw what looked by all accounts like pneumonia, riddling both his lungs, on the CT scan.
But tests for the infection were negative.
Tryston’s pediatrician, Dr Diane Arnaout (right) said the teen (left) had been vaping since the eighth grade
He just kept getting worse and within a couple of days, had to be intubated to keep keep his lungs functioning.
A biopsy of his lung tissue was negative for everything.
His lungs would appear to be failing spontaneously, without cause.
Except that his pediatrician had a hunch that, so far, neither she nor any doctors, yet, have been able to prove.
‘Tryston liked to vape,’ wrote Dr Diane Arnaout, Tryston’s pediatrician, in a Cook Children’s editorial.
The whole medical team suspected that vaping may be behind Tryston’s failing lungs, but there wasn’t much they could do about it, except to keep pumping tiny puffs of air into his lungs to keep him alive.
With no better course of treatment for the 17-year-old, ‘I lost a lot of sleep over this kid,’ siaid Dr Whitworth.
Doctors are still unsure what triggered the lung damage that kept Tryston in the ICU at Cook Children’s hospital in For Worth, Texas, for 18 days, but his two- to three-pod a week vaping habit is the likely suspect
After 10 days, Tryston’s lungs had finally recovere enough for the tube to come out.
In total, he spent 18 days in the hospital, struggling to breathe and wasting away.
Tryston has a considerable recovery period ahead of him, having lost 30 pounds, and so much leg muscle that he has to relearn to walk normally.
‘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 told WFAA.
Domeday he wants to become a firefighter – a job where a primary goal is protecting people from inhaling dangerous fumes.
But first, he wants to spread the word about what has happened to him.
Tryston promised Dr Arnaout that he’d never vape again – and says all of his friends have thrown away their own devices.
‘This is really what could happen and it’s not something to look over,’ Tryston said.
‘They’re not as safe as you think.’