Teen denied lung transplant for smoking Marijuana now gets new lungs

Teen denied lung transplant for smoking Marijuana now gets new lungs





Riley Hancey, a 19 year old teenager with bilateral collapsed lungs secondary to severe pneumonia was planned for bilateral lung transplantation at University of Utah Hospital. The University of Utah Hospital kept Hancey off the transplant list after his tests came postive for THC. Tetrahydrocannabinol(THC)  is an active ingredient of marijuana. The  Hospital issued a written statement saying that they follow international guidelines on transplants, which does not allow them to transplant organs in patients with active alcohol, tobacco or illicit drug use or dependencies.

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Mark Hancey said that his son had been drug free one year prior to onset of this illness.  Riley did smoke marijuana on Thanksgiving night with his friends,” said Mark Hancey, “It’s not like he’s a smoker for 30 years and (had) deteriorating lungs because of that.”



Fortunately, the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania agreed to take him in, and YouCaring helped him cover the costs. He recently received new lungs two weeks ago and is currently off the Extra Corporeal Membrane Oxygenation(ECMO)  and is in the process of recovery.  Hancey was an enthusiastic skier, runner and cyclist before he was diagnosed with severe type of pneumonia. 10 days after hospitalization Hancey’s lungs collapsed and the doctors had told him that he would need a double-lung transplant in order to survive.