Sarah Murnaghan Home After Double Lung Transplants

ABC News
Beyond The Headline

An 11-year-old girl came home Tuesday after two double lung transplants and six months in the hospital.

Sarah Murnaghan was battling cystic fibrosis. Her parents successfully fought a rule that prevented her from qualifying for adult lungs.

"I am so thankful to GOD, Sarah's donors, and the hundreds of thousands of you who stood beside us and fought for Sarah," Sarah's mom, Janet Murnaghan, wrote on Facebook on Monday night.

Sarah no longer needs supplemental oxygen but she still uses a machine to help her breathe, according to family spokeswoman Tracy Simon. She can walk with a walker and is focused on rebuilding the muscles that weakened during the time she was immobile before and after surgery.

Janet Murnaghan started a petition around Memorial Day, calling attention to what would become known as the Under 12 Rule, which said that even though Sarah would be given priority when pediatric lungs became available, adult lungs would have to be offered to adult matches in her region before they could be offered to her.

On June 5, a federal judge issued a temporary restraining order to prevent U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius from enforcing the rule for Sarah. By June 10, the Organ Transplantation and Procurement Network re-evaluated the Under 12 Rule and decided to keep it but created a mechanism for exceptions, depending on the case.

Sarah received a double lung transplant on June 12, but her body rejected them. On June 15, she received a second lung transplant.