Tryston Zohfeld, 17, first fell ill July 24.
"I woke up at 6:30 the next morning, just throwing up everywhere," he told KTVT-TV. "I could feel my heart pounding out of my chest, you know, going 100 miles per hour. I was doing these half breaths. I really couldn't get a whole breath in, even with the inhaler."
Zohfeld's mother took him to a hospital, and he was then rushed to a children's hospital in Fort Worth. He ultimately spent 18 days there, 10 of which he was in a medically induced coma, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported. A ventilator helped him breathe.
The teen had been vaping regularly for three years, and doctors believe that's what ultimately caused his lungs to fail.
Vaping is becoming increasingly popular among middle and high school students, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported last month. It's often marketed as a "cessation tool for addicted smokers." Johns Hopkins notes, however, that many vape pens and e-cigarettes contain high amounts of nicotine.
Dr. Corwin Warmink, who works at Cook Children's Hospital, where Zohfeld was treated, said he sees about one patient a week for vaping.
A physician who treated Zohfeld, Dr. Karen Schultz, said part of the problem is the relative newness of vaping. Its long-term effects are currently unknown.
“No lie, it really is the majority of teens nowadays,” Zohfeld told the Star-Telegram. “If you’re going to do it, you need to know what you’re getting into. We have no idea what we’re getting into.”
Zohfeld lost 30 pounds and had to relearn how to walk. He recently was able to go shopping without getting winded.
The teen told local media that he now plans to take medical classes at a local college, study to become a firefighter and never vape again.