Sarah Murnaghan 10-years-old left to Die Without Lung Transplant in Philadelphia

Sarah Murnaghan 10-years-old left to Die Without Lung Transplant in Philadelphia

Legal restrictions defining organ transplants may cause a 10- years-old Philadelphia girl Sarah Murnaghan left to die because she is unable to receive a lung transplant.

Cystic Fibrosis is an autosomal recessive genetic disorder that affects most critically the lungs, and also the pancreas, liver, and intestine.  It is fatal.

Sarah Murnaghan is a 10 year old girl from Philadelphia who has the disease, and has been waiting for a transplant her entire life.  In the last 18 months her ability to breathe has been rapidly deteriorating.  She could die in the next few months if she doesn’t receive a donor’s organ.

It sounds simple when you know that she is at the top of the list for a pediatric lung transplant in her region.  She could receive a modified adult lung, but the laws are restrictive.  According to federal law, children under 12 cannot receive adult lungs unless everyone in her region declines.

U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has called on officials to review the nation’s lung transplant policy for children, but any change could take up to two years.

According to the present rules, Sarah is destined to die.

A statement from Fran and Janet Murnaghan welcomed the policy review as a “positive step.”

“However, Sarah, and other children like her who need a transplant now, do not have the luxury of time to wait for a lengthy bureaucratic change,” the parents said. “Essentially, Sarah has been left to die.”

The federal agency displayed compassion for Sarah and her parents predicament.

“Our heart goes out to any family that is dealing with a loved one who is on a waiting list for an organ transplant,” the statement said. “Given the significant disparity in the number of transplantable organs to the number of people in need of an organ, (the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network) has regulations and policies to ensure that decisions are based on the best medical science and the most equitable process in a very difficult situation.”

The Murnaghan family has asked anyone who may be able to designate a lung for Sarah to make the specifics required and recognized by law.

“If you want to directly donate your loved one’s lungs to Sarah, the law cannot change that. And Sarah will use that and create a positive and wonderful life and legacy for your loved one,” Janet Murnaghan told CNN.

“I’m praying that somebody sees this story and is in a position to save my baby.”

Sunday night the family was frightened by a severe fever and increased carbon dioxide levels.

The family has made a plea to Sebilius to intercede on Sarah’s behalf.

“We are going to let a kid die over red tape. Somebody needs to stand up that this isn’t right, this is a human issue. This isn’t politics, this is a human issue,” Janet Murnaghan said.

Petitions have been collected, and pleas to the Obama administration have been made on Sarah’s behalf.

Without immediate intervention, a 10 year old Philadelphia girl will die if she doesn’t receive a lung transplant in the immediate future.

James Turnage

The Guardian Express


7 Responses to "Sarah Murnaghan 10-years-old left to Die Without Lung Transplant in Philadelphia"

  1. Savelives   June 8, 2013 at 4:26 pm

    Check prisoners on death row, if they are a donor match…..sorry, your time is up. Save lives of people who deserve to live and save taxpayers money at the same time.

  2. gary   June 5, 2013 at 6:44 am

    Lets stop giving our money to other countries and start immediately taking care of our own first, starting with this little girl !!

  3. Zenny   June 3, 2013 at 1:13 pm

    @Erika Bertotti. the Murnaghan’s are not misleading the public. In fact, if Sarah does get new lungs, she will no longer have CF. And don’t you think the government is determining who lives and dies by not even acting? My God, you sound so freakin’ insensitive. And no one is saying they want someone else to die. In fact, there are many of us that have offered to do a living donation to Sarah, but we cannot find a hospital that will do it. It’s been done before.

    And lets get back to the issue of pressing the government. If the government wasn’t in control of the lists, none of this would be necessary. It’s because of the government and its red tape that Sarah is being denied life.

  4. Daniel   June 3, 2013 at 8:07 am

    There is no perfect way to handle the situation of organ donations and waiting lists. It is a tragedy, but nothing can be done that isn’t already in progress, and pressuring the government to do something is not the answer.

  5. Erika Bertotti   June 2, 2013 at 8:57 pm

    The murnaghan’s are misleading the public. No person wants their daughter to die but “red tape” is not the problem. The issue is far more complicated. Aside from medical reasons who decides which person dies in her place? Should your mom die instead or perhaps your sister or brother…. Maybe your own life should be sacrificed? Perhaps you’re next in line for a lung? Sarah has cystic fibrosis which will not be cured by this transplant. A lung will only postpone the inevitable in her little body. Also, the Murnaghan’s are attempting to get the government involved. Personally, I don’t think I want the government deciding who lives & who dies, who gets a transplant and who doesn’t….

    • Paula99   June 2, 2013 at 10:02 pm

      As a transplant recipient, I agree with everything you said.

  6. Debbi   June 2, 2013 at 8:03 pm

    Chico California has a 13 year old boy who was hit by a car and organs being donated now June 2 someone should chev into this possibility


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