Riley Hancey was a fit and healthy teenager until last November when a sudden and severe bout of pneumonia left him hospital and struggling for life. His lungs collapsed while admitted to a ward at the University of Utah Hospital. He needed a lung transplant or he would die.
It was all set up and two replacement donor lungs were found. Before the operation though, tests needed to be carried out. If Riley had THC – the active component in marijuana – in his system, he’d be refused the transplant. And that’s exactly what happened. The hospital refused to work with him.
Riley’s father, Mark Hancey, says that a doctor told his son: “You will die. You better get your affairs in order.” Mark goes on: “Riley did smoke marijuana on Thanksgiving night with his friends. but it’s not like he’s a smoker for 30 years and had deteriorating lungs because of that.”
The hospital released a statement saying: “We do not transplant organs in patients with active alcohol, tobacco or illicit drug use or dependencies until these issues are addressed, as these substances are contraindicated for a transplant.”
Because of the hospital’s bizarrely inflexible rules, the Hancey family had to look for another hospital that would do the transplant. Luckily, they found somewhere in Philadelphia.
Riley was eventually given a new set of donor lungs two weeks ago at the Philly hospital and is now said to be ‘fighting and doing well’ according to his old man. Great news!
Mark says that doctors are optimistic that Riley will make a complete and full recovery.