Lung transplant patient, 10, has more surgery

| Tuesday, July 2, 2013, 9:21 p.m.

PHILADELPHIA — A 10-year-old girl who had two adult-lung transplants because her parents sued to change national rules regarding organ donations underwent surgery on Tuesday to repair her diaphragm.

The operation performed at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia is expected to allow Sarah Murnaghan to breathe on her own. Sarah has needed a breathing tube since the successful June 15 transplant because she suffered a partial paralysis of her diaphragm during that procedure.

Her mother, Janet Murnaghan, wrote on her Facebook page that doctors said the operation went well.

“Sarah is still mostly sedated, waking periodically in pain, so aggressive pain management is under way,” she said.

Janet Murnaghan said her daughter has one chest tube back in place, and doctors expect to know by next week “whether her other muscles are strong enough to do the job of breathing after extubation or if she needs a temporary tracheostomy while we recondition her muscles.”

Sarah has been hospitalized for months with end-stage cystic fibrosis while awaiting two lungs.

The girl from Newtown Square, a Philadelphia suburb, was a top candidate for organs from a child donor, but none was available, and a national transplant policy put her at the bottom of the adult list — behind patients who were less critically ill.

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