Riley Hancey, the 20-year-old Utah man who was denied a heart transplant by the University of Utah after his bloodwork showed traces of THC, has passed away at the University of Pennsylvania Hospital, the family informed. Hancey’s doctors declared that the man died as a result of transplant complications.
Riley’s Story of How He Survived Pneumonia
From struggling to stay alive after contracting a severe form of pneumonia to fighting against the transplant committee’s unbendable rules, Ryle’s story is a tragic one and has taken a toll on both his family and friends.
Hancey was a sports enthusiast – he loved to climb, to brave the snow-covered slopes, and to go in fishing trip. However, a few years ago, Riley’s life took a turn for the worse after the 20-year-old came down with a severe case of pneumonia.
Eventually, the man was able to defeat the disease, but at the cost of his own lungs. Riley’s doctors informed him, as well as his family that his only chance to survive after his lungs collapsed is to undergo a high risk and invasive surgery called a double-lung transplant. The procedure was to be performed at the University of Utah hospital.
However, when Riley’s bloodwork came back, the transplant committee informed him that his request for the double-lung transplant had been rejected on the account that his blood showed traces of THC, the hallucinogenic compound found in cannabis.
Despite the man’s plea for help, the University of Utah’s decision was final. Riley’s father declared that on Thanksgiving Day, the man and some of his friends smoked marijuana. However, Riley’s parent said that was the only time his son consumed pot.
University of Pennsylvania Agrees to Double-Lung Transplant
Seeing that there was no way to convince the committee that Riley is not an addict, the Hanceys began searching for another hospital to perform the double-lung transplant. Two months later, they found the University of Pennsylvania Hospital’s transplant team, who was more than willing to perform the procedure.
Riley’s surgery was performed on the 29th of March and, according to the initial indications, there were no signs of infection or rejection.
Unfortunately, Riley’s body was much too weak to fight yet another battle. On the 22nd of April, at approximately 4:00 pm, the University of Pennsylvania doctors, announced that the man passed away peacefully, surrounded by his loved ones.
Riley’s post-mortem examination revealed that the man succumbed as a result of transplant complications.
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