BOLIVAR, Mo. (FOX5 WTTG) - A man battling pancreatic cancer is fighting back after viral video showed police searching his hospital room for marijuana.
The Sousley family was horrified when Bolivar Police Department officers showed up to Nolan Sousley's hospital room searching for marijuana. According to Heidi Rayl, a family friend, a security guard tipped authorities of a 'smell' in the room.
Nolan admittedly said he takes CBD oil pills to help combat the pain.
In a viral Facebook stream on Nolan's Tribe of Warriors Against Cancer video shows authorities going through his personal belongings.
While they were searching, police told Sousley if they found marijuana they would issue a citation, but would not be making any arrests. A few minutes into the video, Nolan's doctor walks into the room and asks police if they had probable cause or a warrant to conduct their search.
"No, we have a right this is private property," one of the officers responded.
At one point Nolan chimes in and says, "There is no way they could smell it, doc, because I don't smoke it."
Nolan became emotional after officers asked to check his "final-day things" bag.
"I'm not letting them dig through it. It has my final-day things in there, and nobody's going to dig in it. It's my stuff," an emotional Nolan responded.
Police never found marijuana in Nolan's possession and the department has received major backlash since the incident.
Citizens Memorial Hospital issued an apology on their Facebook page:
"Respect is part of our core values. Our actions in this recent event did not reflect who we are as an organization. We pride ourselves in providing compassionate care to all patients and we fell short of expectations. We apologize to our patient and his family and friends who were affected by our actions. We are reviewing the incident and will retrain our employees in the core values and the importance of respect and dignity to our patients and the community."
While the Sousley family was initially traumatized, Rayl says they're seeing the positive outreach from the world and are, "Hoping to use the video to encourage policy changes and training to better handle these situations so this never happens."
Nolan and his wife Amber are currently on a memory making adventure in California. "It's a trip they've had planned for awhile. They are doing all they can to travel, make memories, and spend quality time with family and friends," Rayl told FOX 5.
Initially, Nolan was told he only had six months to live but he's currently at nine. Doctors predict he has less than three months but his friends say Nolan is a fighter and plans to be here longer.