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17-Year-Old Boy’s Lungs Completely Blocked from Vaping, Doctors Say


Stories have begun to emerge about mystery lung illnesses that have affected teenage vapers. There have now been a series of deaths reported as well as hundreds of illnesses. Some of the individual stories have begun to make their way into the media as more attention has been focused on the issue of vaping. The public is now beginning to hear about the personal stories of those who have been afflicted by these severe lung diseases. One story involves a 17-year old in Texas who was left fighting for his life after his lungs suddenly seemed to stop working after vaping.

Tryston Zohfeld is a previously healthy teenager who never had any history of lung illness or disease. However, Zohfeld had a secret that he kept from his parents. He had been a regular vaper since he was in 8th grade, a fact that was known to one family member. It was this habit that would almost cost him his life. Zohfeld went from a normal healthy teenager to comatose within days.

Zohfeld woke up one morning experiencing intense symptoms seemingly out of the blue. Zohfeld was nauseous and vomiting uncontrollably. He was sweating and his pulse escalated rapidly. His family rushed him to the hospital where his condition continued to deteriorate after he was admitted. Soon, his condition grew bad enough that he was placed in a medically induced coma.

Over the next ten days, Zohfeld was in a battle for his life. While in the coma, he was hooked up to a ventilator since he could not breathe on his own. He was intubated and his condition was considered touch and go. Doctors initially did not know what was causing the life-threatening problems with Zohfeld’s lungs. They ran a number of tests, ruling out things such as pneumonia. However, even after running practically every test they knew, the doctors still could not figure out the problem. What was known was that Zohfeld’s lungs were almost completely blocked from the illness. They were also filled with fluid and every single diagnostic measure came up inconclusive.

Eventually, someone told Zohfeld’s physicians of his vaping habit. Once the doctors learned of this, they were able to immediately hone in on the exact problem. It turns out that Zohfeld was one of the hundreds of teens who have been suffering from critical and acute damage to their lungs caused by vaping.

While it is not exactly known how the vaping teens have taken ill, speculation has centered on the chemicals that go into the lungs from vaping. The theory is that the inflammation of the lungs restricts their ability to exchange oxygen and carbon dioxide. The chemicals from vaping also causes extensive scarring on the lungs. There have been reports of teenagers having the lungs of 70-year olds after years of vaping.

Zohfeld ultimately pulled through. He is one of the lucky ones as the number of deaths from vaping have begun to increase. Zohfeld was in the hospital for 18 days and faces a long rehabilitation ahead of him.  During his illness, he lost 30 pounds and was weakened by his ordeal. Chances are that his lungs are permanently damaged from vaping. The certainty, however, is that he decided to quit vaping after realizing the effects.

In comparison to many other teens, Zohfeld’s vaping habit was not as pronounced. Zohfeld used as much as three pods of nicotine per week. One nicotine pod has as much nicotine as a pack of cigarettes. Many teens will consume more than one pod each day. This is proof that it does not take a large amount of exposure to vaping in order to put one’s life in danger.

Zohfeld’s story is similar to dozens of stories that have begun to emerge about these illnesses. This has caused an increased amount of regulatory attention on the issue of vaping, especially as it related to teenage users of the product. President Trump announced his intent to order the FDA to ban the sale of flavored nicotine pods. These are the flavors that attract the most teenage users. States have also begun to take their own regulatory action to restrict sales of these products. For example, Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York banned these flavored products through an executive order before the FDA has even had a chance to act.

The long-term effects of e-cigarettes are not yet known. There have now been numerous deaths reported from vaping on top of the additional risk of vape pen explosion. While vaping has been advertised as safer than traditional tobacco cigarettes, the reality is that vaping can cause severe damage in a much shorter period of time than smoking.

Zohfeld has emerged from this experience committed to sharing his story in the hopes that he can persuade others to either quit vaping or never take up the habit in the first place. He has given interviews to numerous media outlets in the hopes of drawing publicity for his story.  If you or a loved one has suffered injuries due to vaping, contact The Law Offices of Sadaka Associates to discuss your case.



Principal & Founder
This article was written by Mark Sadaka, a seasoned trial lawyer in nationally significant cases. He fearlessly champions clients impacted by fatal or severe injuries caused by others or corporations. Renowned for his expertise in complex litigation, he's featured in books, sought after by media for interviews, and a highly sought speaker. Notably, he exclusively represents individuals facing life-changing injuries or substantial financial losses.

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