Nation

Pa. girl off oxygen after 2 lung transplants

PHILADELPHIA — The mother of a 10-year-old Pennsylvania girl recovering from two double lung transplants said the girl has been taken off oxygen and is doing well.

Janet Murnaghan said Sunday that her daughter Sarah was taken off oxygen but still gets support from a machine that helps her breathe.

Murnaghan said that in the last few days Sarah has started to walk around the hospital with the aid of a walker and has even gone outside briefly.

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The Newtown Square girl with end-stage cystic fibrosis received the transplants at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia after a federal judge intervened in her parents’ lawsuit challenging national transplant rules.

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Sarah’s first set of adult lungs failed within hours of a transplant June 12 at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. A second set was transplanted three days later.

The transplantation of adult lungs into Sarah stirred an ethics debate because typically only child-size lungs are considered suitable for children. The issue is how to make the best use of rare organs.

Sarah was not expected to live more than a few weeks without a lung transplant. About 90 percent of lung transplant patients are alive after a year, and the average survival rate is six years for lung transplant patients of any age.

Associated Press