Sarah Murnaghan has suffered a large setback and was struggling with pneumonia in her right lung, according to a post on her mother Janet Ruddock Murnaghan’s Facebook page. The 10-year-old lung transplant patient “developed pneumonia in her right lung” on Sunday.
“Today she is more stable,” Janet Murnaghan added. “But this is definitely a large setback.”
The brave 10-year-old was at the heart of a medical ethics controversy that arose when her family found out that she was very low on the transplant list to receive an adult pair of lungs because she was under age 12.
Despite the urgency of Sarah Murnaghan’s need for a new pair of lungs, her family learned in May that she was unlikely to be considered for adult lungs because of organ donor transplant rules even though she was medically qualified to benefit from them.
However, her prognosis was grim. Doctors believed she would die in weeks if not days without a lung transplant.
Therefore her parents took the battle to the courts in order to fight for a judge’s ruling that cleared the way for her to be considered on the basis of urgency, rather than age.
Unfortunately, Sarah’s body rejected the first pair of lungs that was transplanted on June 12. She was kept alive on a bypass machine until she was able to receive a second set of lungs on June 15.
Those lungs were infected with pneumonia and wouldn’t have normally been used, but they were the last available resource to save Sarah Murnaghan’s life.
On Friday, new footage provided a glimpse into Sarah Murnaghan’s recovery, when she was seen alert and responsive on video for the first time since her double lung transplant:
However, the road to recovery from her second lung transplant remains a challenge for the 10-year-old Sarah Murnaghan.
[Sarah Murnaghan photo by Janet Ruddock Murnaghan via Facebook]