Family photo
Riley Hansen, 16, was flown to a local hospital after the Viewmont High student suffered a seizure after collapsing while lifting weights Wednesday, March 7, 2012, in Bountiful.
He's not using his left arm, he can't move it. And if he looks at you from the left side he can't see who you are or recognize you until he sees you from his right eye. —Pat Hart, grandmother

BOUNTIFUL — A Viewmont High School student remained hospitalized Thursday, recovering from a seizure he suffered after collapsing while lifting weights in school the day before.

Family members say Riley James Hansen, 16, underwent surgery Wednesday night for a torn carotid artery.

He was at the school's weight room Wednesday doing arm curls when he felt something "pop," said his grandmother Pat Hart. "And he didn't know if it was in the back of his head or where it was, but immediately he said he got a really bad headache."

Riley got up to talk to the gym coach, and while he spoke with him he went into a seizure, Hart said. Paramedics were called and he was flown by medical helicopter to the hospital.

Hart said her grandson was doing "OK" Thursday. But his stay in the hospital could be anywhere from two weeks to two months because of the damage caused during the seizure and lack of blood flowing to his brain.

"He's not using his left arm, he can't move it. And if he looks at you from the left side he can't see who you are or recognize you until he sees you from his right eye," she said.

Riley does have some movement in his left leg, she said.

He is an avid weightlifter, to the point his friends called him their "buff friend," Hart said. There are conflicting reports as to whether he was lifting heavy weights on Wednesday, she said.

The grandmother also said that according to doctors, it was too early to tell if the weightlifting was the cause of his ruptured artery.

"I don't know what he did different that day than he's been doing, unless there was something that was already torn and was all ready to go and just happened to be the day," she said.

Riley is an active child who likes playing his guitar, Hart said. He worked last summer at Lagoon.

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