Teenager suffers collapsed lung days before senior prom; friends surprise him at hospital

Teenager suffers collapsed lung days before senior prom; friends surprise him at hospital

(WAFB) - A familiar prom night trend hit closer to home Sunday evening when students from Denham Springs High School surprised a friend who was unable to attend.

Jeffree Chapa, a 17-year-old senior at Denham Springs High School, suffered a collapsed lung Friday, just days before he was to attend his senior prom.

Diagnosed with a condition known as "bleb" two years ago, Chapa's lung collapsing has been a possibility since part of his lung was removed his sophomore year during an initial operation. A bleb forms when air collects between the lung and the lung's outer surface. When a bled ruptures, the air pours between the lung and chest cavity causing what's known as a pneumothorax which can result in a collapsed lung.

Chapa's friends, however, were determined not to allow the condition to ruin his night.

According to family, Chapa's prom date initially showed up Saturday afternoon alone. Later that evening, more than 20 of Chapa's other friends showed up to a hospital playroom, where a staff member and DSHS fellow alumnus had hung school-themed purple and gold décor.

"It was like a dream come true. My heart was overfilled with joy to see such compassion from our community" said Jennifer Chapa, Jeffree's mother.

Chapa's friends had stayed so long they had missed parts of prom, but were excited to support him on one of the schools most awaited nights.

The surprise was a perfect show of support for Chapa who underwent surgery on Monday to remove lung tissue, the second time in three years he will have undergone treatment for lung-related complications. His mother said Monday afternoon that he is recovering and expected to be released Wednesday.

Copyright 2018 WAFB. All rights reserved.