Boy, 13, On Life Support After Using ‘Spice’

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – A 13-year-old boy is fighting for his life at Children’s Hospital.

Brandon Rice is on life support after his parents said he smoked a dangerous synthetic drug that mimics marijuana.

KDKA Investigator Marty Griffin reports that “spice” or K-2 is blamed for at least a dozen deaths nationwide.

Rice has been on life support at Children’s Hospital since the middle of June. His parents said his lungs have been destroyed by the effects of the drug and that he needs a lung transplant.

Right now, he isn’t strong enough to make it through the surgery.

On YouTube, there are hundreds of videos of young men and women having so-called “bad trips.”

Rice’s parents found some of the drug in his room after he was hospitalized. They had no idea what “spice” was or that their 13-year-old had even used drugs.

As they fight for a transplant for their son, they hope he lives long enough to get one. Rice’s parents want other parents and other teenagers to know how dangerous a so-called legal drug that can be bought locally can be.

Rice’s situation is so serious his family considered taking him off the machines.

For now, they say they will wait and hope for a miracle.


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  • Brianna Leigh

    If the kid had just smoked actual weed he’d be fine right now.

    • Anonymous


    • Anonymous

      Actually marijuana has dangerous to the boys health so spice said that it had no affect on from the labeling he read it and tried it well the company lied by the way and spice can get you high 10x faster i would know all of this cause Im the 1 that reported the website to the police and found the website and researched this all!

    • Anonymous

      No He wouldnt of I knwo the kid and mary j and spice k2 have the same thing so no matter what he would of got sick and if you do drugs thats just patheic

      • Anonymous

        I think you better check your sources, pathetic.

      • Larry

        Are you in first grade? Your writing is terrible.

      • Pitt Fan

        Your spelling and grammar are pathetic

  • Ping

    AMEN Tirade, nice catch!

  • chance

    Maybe it would be smart to just avoid drugs and the plastic wouldn’t be an issue.

    • Anonymous

      I am not understanding where the plastic comes in to this story? Did he smoke out of plastic??

  • Kem

    Moderator, please tell me why my previous comment, quoted below., was removed:

    “Maybe if he had access to the real thing, then he wouldn’t have had to resort to smoking chemicals. How many stoners do you know need lung transplants? Even after years of marijuana use?”

    As you can see, I did not use obscene language, make personal attacks, or post private information. There is no reason why my comment should have been removed.

  • Anonymous

    Moderator for this forum at KDKA is bias, won’t let anything be posted against what the story says. Sad that you can’t have this an open forum for discussion of opinions but need to keep it to your own agenda KDKA. I will never watch your station again.

  • Amy

    OMGosh. Seriously??? This boy is fighting for his life and all people can do is use it to promote their own causes. Here is the fact, DRUGS ARE BAD. Whether it’s K2, marijuana, pills, or huffing legal substances, no one knows what may or may not cause a reaction in any given human body. We shouldn’t be arguing about what is or isn’t available or what may or may not have caused it, we SHOULD be showing the effects of experimentation to our children and saying JUST DON’T DO IT. No family deserves to go thru the hell I have watched this family endure. Perhaps the bickering could end and everyone could just wish this child well.

    • Shawn

      I can’t speak for anyone other than myself, but I would bet we all wish the child well. He was young/immature and made a mistake that might take his life. Very tragic, and I wish him the best. Can’t imagine what the parents are going through. But these comments need to be made because it addresses the very issue that this article (with its errors) mentions. Drugs, drugs through melting plastics, not knowing what your young teenager is doing, etc.

      • Diamond jim

        We need to teach good moral values and whats right is right and whats wrong is wrong. You people are disgusting…”He was very young/inmature and made a mistake.” Grow up teach people and take a stand for decency and what is right. Then we will not see issues like this. I wish the family well and pray fopr this young man

    • Anonymous

      Yes, this is a tragedy. But it would be a lie to say that marijuana can do this to a person. These synthetic drugs are dangerous, yes. but marijuana will not put you in the hospital. Period. If drug prevention programs told the truth rather than “just say no” which is unrealistic it may be a more effective program.

  • marilyn

    I am keeping this young boy in my prayers. I agree with Amy. No family shoudl go through this. It is a very tragic situation and I feel for all his family members. Tragic, very tragic.

  • Linda M

    drugs are bad no matter what and no family should ever go through this

    I’ll pray what ever happens God will be with the family


  • journalismisdead

    Yes, KDKA has spun this story! He smoked the spice thru a pez dispenser. Inhaling the burning plastic caused the burn on his lungs. This is a very sad story. I showed the video of him on life support to my 11 yr daughter to show her what will happen to her if she ever is that stupid.

    • Anonymous

      Where are you getting your info folks i am related and it seems the public is doing most of the spinning of the story. Who calls a 13yr old that is fighting for his life ,stupid? You should be real proud of yourself folks! I will pray for people like you!

      • No free speech

        I replied several times, but it references the other news stations in the area so this ‘company’ kaydeekayehh keeps deleting it…

      • Another try

        Here’s a tinylink that the fascist moderators might not catch:

  • Anonymous

    I know the family and I know Brandon. He is a good kid that made a bad decision. Pray he stays strong enough for a lung transplant. He is 13 years old. He deserves a 2nd chance.

    • marilyn

      To the family of this innocent child. My prayers are with you. I will say the rosary for your son. Time is too short. God is watching your son. Prayers.

  • Not Perfect

    Let me guess you are perfect and have never made a mistake in your life. You must be very blessed!

  • Anonymous

    I think we should pray for some of you as well. Dont be so hypocrytical, i am sure you have done wrong in your time.

  • Clean

    This stuff is dangerous, just because it’s legal in PA doesn’t make it safe, plastic or not. Other states have already made it a felony 2 charge.

  • Korpiklaani

    Post Gazette and WPXI also did this – not mentioning that the melting plastic burned his lungs, just as many media outlets have anytime someone under the age of 18 stumbles into an emergency room. While there is no question it can sometimes cause severe anxiety and increased heart rate, so does natural potent cannabis to inexperienced users. I wish the kid well, and am not condoning incense and bath salts, but media outlets are just blowing up this issue due to political pressure.

  • Praying for boy and his Family

    Everyone just needs to stop bickering. Facts are a boy is fighting for his life right now. We all make choices in life – good or bad. It is what you learn from your choices that counts. I pray that this boy has a chance to do just that. To his parents, family and friends, I pray that God guides you and gives you the strenght you need. God Bless and I will be praying for your loved one!

    • Anonymous

      Thanks… we are all praying… He is a good kid… His parents are going thru hell and are trying everything they can do to save him. They will know more today. So please keep him in your prayers!

  • Anonymous

    thank our wonderful government

  • Anonymous

    What am I missing here? Where does the plastic come in? Did he smoke the K2 out of a plastic pipe ?



  • from one parent to another

    My heart goes out to the family of this young boy. What a tragedy. Brandon will be in my prayers.

  • chance

    thank our wonderful government


  • Burghnerdman

    I hope and pray for this family, in this very difficult time.
    Adults, PLEASE show this story too your children, any child for that matter. That if this child, who made a mistake, should pass, or at the very least have long term side effects. Shouldn’t have to do this in vain. Let this be a WARNING to anyone who is thinking of trying this stuff. Let’s just hope and pray that this doesn’t happen to another child.

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