Sarah’s Struggle To Get New Lungs – Update

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A federal judge's ruling is giving a ten-year-old Pennsylvania girl a better chance at getting a life-saving transplant.

Sarah Murnaghan has cystic fibrosis and could die within weeks without a transplant.

An existing policy made her a lower priority for a transplant because of her age … until now. 

Jason Carroll has the story.

This was Sarah Murnaghan's reaction after getting word a federal judge, has temporarily helped her win a victory in the battle to save her life.

In the late stages of cystic fibrosis, she desperately needs a lung transplant…having been on the children's donor list for 18 months.

Wednesday, her parents filed a lawsuit against the department of health and human services to get her included on the adult list.

Current policy prevents children under 12 from being on that list.

But late Wednesday, Judge Michael Baylson issued a 10-day restraining order…directing the department to: “immediately cease application of the under 12 rule as to Sarah Murnaghan so that she can be considered for receipt of donated lungs from adults…”

“What the judge is allowing to happen today is allowing her to be on equal ground with the other folks, the adults.”

As Sarah became sicker over the past few weeks, the Murnaghans appealed to health and human services secretary Kathleen Sebelius to change the policy.

Sebelius said it was not in her power to immediately change the guidelines.

“The worst of all worlds, in my mind, is to have some individual pick and choose who lives and who dies. I think you want a process where it's guided by medical science and medical experts.”

Secretary Sebelius also saying there are 40 adults currently in Murnaghan's region in need of a transplant.

But the Murnaghans say Sarah is so sick it's likely she'll still be at the top of the adult list.

Pennsylvania Senator Bob Casey says federal guidelines have to ensure fairness to both children and adults.

“You've gotta be able to work within the rules but also be able to make the case when you believe that children could be adversely impacted by a policy.”

Time for Sarah still running out–but the Murnaghans now believe she has a fighting chance.

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