Weatherford Teen Says Vaping Nearly Killed Him

Alan Scaia
August 21, 2019 - 7:12 am
Vape, Vaping

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FORT WORTH (1080 KRLD) - A 17-year-old from Weatherford says he spent 18 days in the hospital and lost 30 pounds this summer because of vaping.

Tryston Zohfeld went to Cook Children's July 26 with shortness of breath, fatigue, chills and vomiting.

"I could just feel my heart pounding out of my chest, going 100 miles an hour," he says.

Within two days, he could not breathe on his own.

"The day they intubated him was probably the worst day of my life," says Zohfeld's dad, Mark. "We came into the hospital, initially, completely naive to what was actually happening."

Doctors tested for viruses and infections, but those tests came back negative. They only found the cause when one of Zohfeld's cousins came to the hospital with his vaping supplies.

"There were times when we were concerned he was not going to make it through this," says Pediatric Pulmonologist Karen Schultze.

Zohfeld has since been released from the hospital and is recovering, but Schultze says his lungs were so irritated, they had formed scar tissue.

"We don't know the long-term effects, we really only know the short-term effects," Zohfeld says. "If the short-term effects are this bad, then what good can come out of it?"

The CDC has confirmed 94 cases of lung problems across the country connected to vaping since the beginning of June. In 2018, the CDC says more than 3.6 million kids said they had used e-cigarettes each month.

One in five high school students and one in 20 middle school students said they had used e-cigarettes. The CDC says e-cigarettes have been the most commonly used tobacco product among American youth since 2014.

U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams has called vaping and the use of e-cigarettes by young people an "epidemic."