Lung Transplant Girl Still on Breathing Tube

The mother of a 10-year-old Pennsylvania girl recovering after a double lung transplant says doctors tried to remove her breathing tube but were forced to reinsert it.

Janet Murnaghan said in a statement provided by a spokeswoman that her daughter, Sarah, “could not handle the reduced support” after the tube was removed Wednesday. She called the day “excruciating” and said it was “impossibly painful” watching her daughter struggle to breathe, so the girl was ultimately sedated and re-intubated.

Janet Murnaghan said doctors have assured the family that the day's events don't change Sarah's long-term prospects but just mean “she needs more time to regain her strength.”

Sarah, of Newtown Square, suffers from severe cystic fibrosis. She underwent the operation after a national debate over the organ allocation process of not putting kids on adult lung transplant lists until he or she turns 12.

Her new lungs came from an adult donor, after a judge decided that the under 12 rule could be modified in her case -- a decision that put her on the adult list.

The transplant isn't a cure for cystic fibrosis, but it can extend her life by years.

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