Utah Resident Denied Lung Transplant Due to Trace THC in Blood

Year old THC traces found in blood led to the denial of lung transplant.

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Jasmine Davis, Staff Reporter

Riley Hancey, a Park City resident in the state of Utah, died Saturday evening due to surgical complications. He had initially been denied a much needed lung transplant and was forced to look elsewhere.

On Thanksgiving of 2016, Riley Hancey suffered from a severe case of pneumonia and as a result his lungs were left collapsed from illness.

Riley and his family desperately sought help from the University of Utah but he was denied even a spot on the waiting list due to traces of THC in his blood.

Hancey`s father admitted his son has smoked marijuana on Thanksgiving of 2016, but claimed his son has been clean for a year since then.

The university hospital spokesperson stated that they followed international guidelines in the fact that they “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.”

In desperate need of the transplant, the family begun searching the country for someone willing to save their son.

Two months after being turned down by the University of Utah, the University of Pennsylvania agreed to help and Riley was flown out for the operation.

Mark Hancey, Riley’s father, had originally sounded hopeful, claiming that his son has looked “so healthy” but on Saturday things took a turn for the worst when Riley passed away.

The family did not elaborate on his death when contacted Sunday night, just stated that Riley passed due to complications following the operation.

Despite his passing the family remains as positive as they can, knowing through this lengthy battle to save their son that they gave him every opportunity possible in terms of survival.

They claim now that Riley is “free to climb every mountain, ski the back-country, go fishing and run every river,” as well as the thought that he will live on in their hearts always and forever.

Mr Hancey has asked that in honor of his late son, everyone who hears of his story could perform one random act of kindness.