Saturday, July 26, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Girl who received lung transplants is off oxygen, on walker, mom says

Sarah Murnaghan hasn´t been able to leave Children´s Hospital of Philadelphia for three months due to worsening conditions from cystic fibrosis. Her family is appealing for a direct lung donor.
Sarah Murnaghan hasn't been able to leave Children's Hospital of Philadelphia for three months due to worsening conditions from cystic fibrosis. Her family is appealing for a direct lung donor.

Sarah Murnaghan, the Newtown Square girl who underwent a double lung transplant after her family successfully challenged national transplant regulations, no longer needs supplemental oxygen.

Sarah, who turned 11 this month (aug), also is now able to walk with a walker, though she needs a wheelchair for long distances, her mother, Janet Murnaghan, said Sunday via text message.

Sarah stopped receiving supplemental oxygen on Saturday, though for the time being she still breathes through a tube in her trachea — with the aid of a machine that maintains positive airway pressure, similar to what is used for sleep apnea.

“We are thrilled,” Janet Murnaghan said.

Sarah received a set of adult lungs on June 12. After they failed, she received a second set three days later.

Previously, national rules stated that adult donor lungs must be offered to all wait-listed adults before being used in a child.

A federal judge intervened, allowing Sarah’s transplants to proceed. Subsequently, the national panel that oversees lung transplants enacted a temporary change in the rules, allowing children to receive adult lungs on a case-by-case basis, depending on need.

Janet Murnaghan said her daughter’s prognosis is good, though she has a long stretch of physical rehabilitation in front of her.

Contact Tom Avril at 215-854-2430 or tavril@phillynews.com.

Tom Avril Inquirer staff
Also on Philly.com
Stay Connected