NEW YORK (Reuters) - A 10-year-old Pennsylvania girl who sparked a national debate about child access to organ donation took her first independent breath this week on a second set of donor lungs after her first transplant failed, the girl’s family said on Friday.
Sarah Murnaghan, who had cystic fibrosis and needed a lung transplant, had been kept off an adult organ transplant list due to an age restriction. She became eligible for an adult pair of lungs only after a judge’s order.
The girl received the first transplant on June 12 but had to be put back on a waiting list to receive another organ donation after complications arose.
The girl underwent a second surgery, her family said in a statement, performed by the same surgeon who did the first transplant, Dr. Thomas Spray, at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
“The road to recovery is long and Sarah’s fight is not over,” parents Janet and Fran Murnaghan, who live in the Philadelphia suburb of Newtown Square, wrote on Facebook on Friday.
The girl’s family had sued to prevent the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services from enforcing a policy that prevents children under 12 from receiving adult lung transplants, even if they are extremely ill.
The girl was set to undergo another surgery on Monday to provide the lungs with greater volume for expansion and remove a tube, the family’s statement said.
Reporting By Francesca Trianni; Editing by Daniel Trotta and Leslie Adler