By Mirembe Martina
The ten-year old girl who was on the verge of death because of the state’s law of children below the age of 12 getting child donors instead of adult donors has won a court motion which allows her to get an adult lung to save her life.
Sarah Murnaghan from Philadelphia was dying of cystic fibrosis. She urgently needed a lung transport but the state’s law required all children below 12 get child donors. However, getting a child donor is extremely rare and the chances of getting one is too slim which left Sarah with little hope of surviving.
In order to save her life, Sarah’s parents filed an emergency motion in federal court to sidestep the law and they won.
They filed the emergency motion on Wednesday to prevent Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius from enforcing the policy with Sebelius saying she would not make an exception for Sarah. On Wednesday afternoon, Federal Judge Michael Baylson ordered Sebelius to stop enforcing the under-12 rule for Sarah “so that she can be considered for receipt of donated lungs from adults based on the medical severity of her condition as compared to the medical severity of persons over 12 in the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network system.”
The order is effective immediately and will remain in effect unless the court rules otherwise at a preliminary injunction hearing on June 14.
“Finally, we have some positive news for Sarah and her family,” U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey, R.-Pa., said in a statement. “I applaud today’s ruling and am grateful to Judge Baylson for quickly issuing his decision on such an important matter.”
“Sarah is being left to die,” Sarah’s father, Fran Murnaghan, said on Sunday. “Not only Sarah, but there are many other children in the same situation. [Sebelius] clearly has the authority to do something now, and she has decided to do, to be honest, not much of anything. In my opinion, she has kicked the can down the political road.”