A dying girl who needs a lung transplant and only has weeks to live has will receive the long-awaited lung transplant she so desperately needs. Sarah Murnaghan, the 10-year-old Pennsylvania girl dying of cystic fibrosis, received national attention after HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius refused to help.
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According to a Facebook post from Sarah’s mother, Janet, the family received word this morning of new lungs that had been made available, and Sarah will be taken to the operating room within the next 30 minutes. The operation will take many hours.
In the Facebook post, Janet asked her followers to pray for Sarah’s donor.
“Please pray for Sarah’s donor, her HERO, who has given her the gift of life,” Janet Murnaghan wrote. “Today their family has experienced a tremendous loss, may God grant them a peace that surpasses understanding.”
Over the weekend, Sarah’s condition worsened, and she had to be intubated on Saturday after she experienced additional trouble breathing.
Sarah Murnaghan has been hospitalized for three months with end-stage cystic fibrosis. She is not giving up hope. She wants to be a singer, but needs a lung transplant to live. Her parents have been with her constantly while she waits at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
Sarah’s parents asked a federal judge to intervene and order the Obama administration to alter longstanding organ-donation rules so she can get the lung transplant she desperately needs.
Sebelius says she doesn’t want to intervene in the transplant case when other sick children are dying, but Sarah’s family says hey want the policy changed for all children awaiting a lung transplant, not just Sarah.
Former U.S. Attorney and current Pennsylvania U.S. Congressman Patrick Meehan has reviewed the federal policy and has stated that because Sarah’s doctors believe she will survive the transplant, Sebelius could make an exception to the existing federal regulation “without upsetting precedent or violating the consistency of allocation policy.” He also wrote in a letter to the Secretary that: “Sarah is not asking to be placed ahead of another, but rather she is petitioning for the ability to compete for equitable treatment based on sound medical judgment and that she be accorded her appropriate place in line. Her need and survivability are the critical factors.”
Kristan Hawkins, the head of Students for Life of America, has written about the case at LifeNews.
Now, I know the ethics of organ transplants can be a tricky subject for some. I have had disagreements among my own friends and family members. However, for families who are eagerly awaiting a donated organ to save the life of their child or know that it one-day will come down to that, organ donation is a miracle of modern science and treated with great reverence.
Still, others will say, sure, this little girl could get a lung but because she has cystic fibrosis, her chances of living a long life are still slim because her genetic disease will attempt to destroy her new lung. But that’s the case with almost all lung transplant cases, the person requiring the transplant is suffering from an incurable disease and is hoping to get to shot at a few more precious years of life. Because of the complexity of the transplant surgery and the almost guaranteed post-surgery immune system rejection, the long-term survival for lung transplant patients isn’t as long as those who have received other types of organs like kidneys, livers, etc.
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However, one thing is for sure – age at the time of a person’s transplant is the most important factor influencing lung transplant survival.
Sadly, what is happening to Sarah is only the start of what we will see happen to our health care system under Obamacare. Government red-tape will override the expertise of our doctors, and soon we will all be at the mercy of death panels run by Kathleen Sebelius and other un-elected bureaucrats.