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Pennsylvania girl who received lung transplant now awake, responsive

June 22, 2013|By Devin Kelly | This post has been corrected, as indicated below.
  • On May 30, a few weeks before her surgery, Sarah Murnaghan celebrates the 100th day of her stay in Children's Hospital of Philadelphia with her father, Fran, and mother, Janet. The Murnaghan family said Sarah was awake and responsive Friday night after receiving a lung transplant Wednesday.
On May 30, a few weeks before her surgery, Sarah Murnaghan celebrates the… (Family photo )

The 10-year-old Pennsylvania girl who received adult organs in a controversial double lung transplant surgery is awake and responsive, a family spokeswoman said.

Sarah Murnaghan was awake Friday evening and responding to “yes” or “no” questions by nodding, Tracy Simon said.

The girl, who suffers from severe cystic fibrosis, was transferred two days earlier from a high-frequency breathing machine called an oscillator to a normal ventilator. At that point, doctors were able to bring her out of a medically-induced coma.

This was Sarah’s first time awake since entering sedation before the six-hour surgery on June 12. 

“These are some really good steps in the right direction,” Simon said.

She added that Sarah is frustrated, however, by the tube keeping her from talking.

The surgery occurred after a federal judge issued a temporary restraining order that suspended the age limit for the nation’s transplant rules. Sarah had previously been on the transplant list for only pediatric lungs because she was younger than 12.

The family first asked Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius for permission for the girl to receive adult lungs, but Sebelius said she could not bypass rules already in place.

[For the record, 3:30 p.m., July 2: The original post said the surgery was on June 19. It was on June 12.]


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