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A Year After Lung Transplant, Sarah Murnaghan Breathing on Her Own

Sarah Murnaghan became national news last year during a battle to receive a lung transplant and defy the “Under 12 Rule,” which was preventing her from obtaining adult donor lungs.

Sarah Murnaghan. Patch file photo
Sarah Murnaghan. Patch file photo

Sarah Murnaghan, the Newtown Square girl who underwent a life-saving lung transplant a year ago after a public battle in federal court, is now breathing completely on her own.

Sarah’s mother, Janet, announced on Facebook this weekend that her daughter had the tube in her neck, a tracheostomy, removed.

"She rides her bike, goes to the pool, out to dinner with the family, museums, parks, etc. She is enjoying life,” Janet Murnaghan told ABC News.

Sarah became national news last year during a battle to receive a lung transplant and defy the “Under 12 Rule,” which was preventing her from obtaining adult donor lungs.

The then 10-year-old had been on the pediatric lung transplant list for 18 months as of May 2013. But her health took a turn for the worse and doctors said she had weeks to live unless she received a transplant. 

Her family went public with their battle against the Under 12 Rule. That rule gives patients under 12 priority for child lungs, but adult lungs are offered to all adult candidates on the transplant list before they can be offered to children.

If Sarah had been 12 years old, she would immediately have been eligible for the next available lungs from an adult donor. 

In June 2013, a federal judge directed the transplant network to cease application of the "Under 12 Rule" as it applies to Sarah. Later that month, Sarah received her transplant at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

L. Ferguson June 19, 2014 at 12:46 PM
HAPPY NEWS!
hcon July 06, 2014 at 09:24 AM
Wonderful news! What a blessing! This should be all over the news, such good news out of hardship.
LDB July 09, 2014 at 03:35 PM
What this story leaves out, though, is that the she immediately rejected the first (adult) set of lungs she received, and needed a second transplant withing 24 hrs. Perhaps if the government hadn'd meddled where it doesn't know what it's doing, she'd have gotten that second (successful) set of lungs anyway, and some now dead adult would have successfully received the first set?

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