North Carolina teen dies of heart condition after VAPING, stepmom says

Solomon Wynn, a North Carolina football star, dead after vaping saw him develop a heart condition

  • Solomon Wynn, 15, was a healthy football-obsessed teen when he began vaping
  • His stepmom Charlene Zorn said he died just months after developing a cough
  •  She is speaking after believing the devices are responsible for his death

A North Carolina woman is warning about the dangers of vaping after her 15-year-old stepson died from a heart condition caused by the devices. 

Charlene Zorn said her stepson Solomon Wynn, a healthy teenager who ‘loved’ football and the gym, deteriorated rapidly after developing a cough months ago. The cough left the athlete unable to walk more than a few paces without stopping to catch his breath. 

After doctors initially diagnosed him with bronchitis, she told Fox News that prescriptions for antibiotics, steroids and inhalers did nothing to help. Further tests, including X-rays of Solomon’s lungs, revealed the damage vaping had done.

‘By looking at the test X-rays, (the doctor) knew from her expertise that Solomon had been vaping,’ Zorn said.

The football-obsessed teen collapsed on June 16 and died the next day, and Zorn said she urged his teammates to stop vaping when they attended his funeral. 

The tragedy comes amid mounting pressure on officials to regulate the devices after their marketing towards children caused a number of youngsters to die in recent years. 

Solomon Wynn (pictured) was a healthy football-obsessed 15-year-old who ‘loved’ working out, a vape-induced cough worsened to the point he could barely walk for a few minutes. He collapsed on July 16, and died the next day after being taken off a ventilator

Zorn said her family were faced with the heartbreaking decision to take Solomon off a ventilator in mid-June, just months after he was first taken to a doctor with a bad cough. 

‘They diagnosed him with what they thought was bronchitis,’ she said, but typical medications for the condition seemingly did nothing to help him recover.

Prior to his vaping-induced cough, Solomon was a healthy teenager who ‘loved’ football. Zorn said he begun going to the gym with his dad, and he quickly started working out ‘every morning.’ 

But after taking up vaping, which his parents say they didn’t know about, he developed a sudden cough that crippled the youngster.

Charlene Zorn said she urged her stepson’s football teammates to give up vaping at his funeral 

The devices devastated his lung capacity to the point where he could barely walk more than a few paces without getting out of breath. ‘After about a minute and a half, he had to stop because his breathing had become labored,’ she added.

A pulmonologist ran extensive tests on the football player including allergy testing and X-rays, who spotted the telltale signs of the damage of vaping.

‘He openly admitted it to the doctor. He didn’t try and deny it,’ Zorn continued, saying that she and Solomon’s father had ‘no clue’ he was using the devices.

‘We had no indication that he had been vaping. Neither his father nor myself smoke, so there were no products in our house that he could get,’ she said.

Prior to his vaping-induced cough that ultimately killed him, Solomon was a healthy teenager who ‘loved’ football and going to the gym

Solomon’s heartbroken family are speaking out after his young life was ended by the devices, saying ‘We even joked about him even having a family someday’

‘It wasn’t that it was something accessible to him. It was something he got through his friends.’ She said she didn’t know which brand of vape he was using.

Zorn detailed the heartbreak her family went through as they watched his condition worsen, saying: ‘The CAT scan showed that there was fluid in three places on his lungs and surrounding his heart.’

‘He was supposed to see the cardiologist that following Monday because, obviously, they had concerns because it was affecting his heart.’

Tragically, the Friday before he was due to see the cardiologist, Solomon collapsed. Despite urgent medical intervention that landed him on a ventilator, he couldn’t be saved and he died the next day.

‘All these things that we thought Solomon was going to do — we thought he would play football all the way through high school. He talked on and off about the military. He talked about jobs that he wanted to have,’ Zorn said. 

‘We even joked about him even having a family someday. None of those things are going to happen now. … We have memories. That’s all we have now.’ 

Solomon died just months after he developed a vape-induced cough. He is pictured with his stepmom Charlene Zorn and father Alfred Wynn 

Experts was that users of vape and e-cigarette nicotine devices are vulnerable to developing ‘popcorn lung’, a condition that could require a lung transplant and even result in death in more severe cases (file photo)

After initially being pitched to the public as a solution to cigarette addiction, vapes have come under mounting scrutiny in recent years for their health ramifications. 

Zorn slammed the manufacturers of the devices for their tragic effect on her stepson, adding: ‘People think that we’re exaggerating or, ‘Oh, this can’t happen to my kid.’ … The death rate among kids vaping is very low, yes, but the rate of kids ending up in the hospital and the kids getting sick is on the increase, not the decrease.

‘The vapes have all sorts of metals in them. They have strong nicotine in them that it affects the lungs, it turns them into — they call it popcorn lungs.’

Her fears over so-called popcorn lung comes after experts warned that up to 95 percent of those who develop the condition will die within five years. 

Dr Panagis Galiatsatos, director of the Tobacco Treatment Clinic at Johns Hopkins, warns that the five year mortality rate of popcorn lung could be as high as 95%

Bronchiolitis obliterans, the official medical diagnosis for popcorn lung, occurs when a person’s lungs become significantly scarred due to the inhalation of dangerous chemicals or via an infection of some sort. 

Dr Panagis Galiatsatos, director of the Tobacco Treatment Clinic at Johns Hopkins University, told ‘Whether it’s vaping, e-cigarettes or combustible cigarettes. They all come with noxious chemicals that exploit the addictive properties of nicotine.’ 

‘Often times you hear that using e-cigarettes or vaping is less problematic of a nicotine delivery device. But it has its own set of potential health problems that go with it,’ added Dr Clayton Cowl, a pulmonologist at the Mayo Clinic.

‘The problem with many of the newer devices coming out is that it is not just about nicotine it is about other products that can be placed within those devices that when aerosolized can create significant health related problems.’

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