No air

Sophomore suffers from collapsed lung, unable to compete in District


Photo by Photo by Zach Baker

Sophomore Dylan Gray looks forward to returning to the pool after recovering from a collapsed lung.

Story by Tyler Snell, staff writer

Take a breath.

Just breathe.

But the pain is too much.

Sophomore Dylan Gray suffered from a collapsed lung on Dec. 18 and was taken to Wadley Hospital for treatment.

“One morning at swim, I had pain up and down the left side of my body,” Gray said. “I thought I was having heart problems. I was short of breath. I told Coach Auel, but he thought I just pulled a muscle.”

Even though Gray was hurting, he decided to try and swim anyway. But what he didn’t know was that he was doing it with only one lung.

“I couldn’t do it, so I got out and called my mom to come get me,” Gray said, “On the way to the hospital, it was hard to breathe, and I was leaning over in pain. It was the worst pain I’ve experienced.”

At the hospital, Gray was admitted to the ER where doctors examined him and found the problem.

“They looked at my lung and chest and did X-Rays,” Gray said. “ Then, the doctors put a tube in my chest to take out the extra air between my lung and my chest. Then, they reinflated my lung.”

After having his lung inflated, Gray stayed in the hospital to be taken care. Meanwhile, he was healing with a tube in his chest that sucked out all the extra air that escaped the lung.

“The tube was a sharp pain inside and outside my chest,” Gray said. “I just had to rely on God to do his thing, and I didn’t worry.”

Gray was assured when he found out what the actual condition was. The hole in his lung was caused by a condition called Pneumothorax, where a blob on top of his lung burst open, releasing all the air in his lung.

“I didn’t hear the blob pop,” Gray said. “I just randomly started hurting and was short of breath.”

Gray had a hard time breathing in the beginning, but he is now looking forward to getting back to swim and recovering from the ordeal.

“I won’t be able to get back to swim until February,” Gray said. “I was ready for District, and now I can’t even participate because of the injury.”

The injury put Gray in Wadley Hospital for nearly a week right before Christmas, but he had some friends and teammates cheer him up.

“I had a lot of people come up [to the hospital], and some of the swimmers came on Christmas morning dressed as the three wise men and Jesus,” Gray said. “It made me feel cared about, and I even felt better afterwards.”