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A Hospital Denied This Teenager A Lung Transplant Because He Smoked Marijuana

Riley Hancey, a 19-year-old from Salt Lake City, Utah, is a lot like other teens his age. He works at a ski resort, loves to play sports with his friends, and enjoys traveling with his family. But last month Hancey was fighting for his life in a hospital after his lungs collapsed.

A bad case of pneumonia hit Hancey just after Thanksgiving, and since then he had relied on machines to breathe for him. He needed a life-saving double-lung transplant, but the hospital stunned the teen's family by removing him from their transplant list.

The reason? Hancey tested positive for marijuana when he was admitted to the hospital.

The University of Utah Hospital won't comment on Hancey's specific case, but say they're following guidelines set out by the International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation. In a statement, they said the following:

"Generally speaking, we do not transplant organs in patients with active alcohol, tobacco or illicit drug dependencies or abuse until these issues are addressed, as these substances are contraindicated for a transplant."

Hancey admits to smoking marijuana with his friends on Thanksgiving, but says that was the first time he used the drug in over a year.

After transferring to another hospital, Hancey was finally able to get the life-saving transplant, but his family still question why the teen had to wait so long.

While he's recovering now, an organ transplant is a life-changing procedure with lots of extra costs, and Hancey's family is trying to raise money to support him.

"Riley is young and should have his whole life ahead of him," they wrote.

"His family is not prepared to let their son go without a fight."

You can support Hancey by donating to his YouCaring page.

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