The dying girl who needed a lung transplant and only had weeks to live is now breathing on her own after HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius infamously denied her one. After getting the transplant she desperately needed, the little girl is doing much better.
Sarah Murnaghan, the 10-year-old Pennsylvania girl dying of cystic fibrosis, received national attention after HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius refused to help. She eventually received two double lung transplants.
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 needed. Sebelius said she didn’t want to intervene in the transplant case when other sick children are dying, but Sarah’s family said they want the policy changed for all children awaiting a lung transplant, not just Sarah.
Fox News now reports that Sarah has vastly improved:
Janet Murnaghan, Sarah’s mother, took to Facebook on Sunday to share the medical milestone with her followers. She said that Sarah was admitted to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) on Friday, where doctors began the process of removing her breathing tube and closing up the tracheostomy – a surgically created opening through the neck into the trachea for the tube.
With the post, Janet Murnaghan included a picture of Sarah without her breathing tube.
“Everything has gone beautifully! We are still at CHOP, planning to go home tomorrow,” Murnaghan wrote on Facebook. “This is the best one year anniversary picture I could ever imagine sending to you all.”
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, wrote 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.
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.