Pa. girl who fought for lung transplant improving, mom says

Sarah Murnaghan, 10.
CBS News

PHILADELPHIA The mother of a 10-year-old Pennsylvania girl whose efforts to qualify for an organ donationled to debate over how organs are allocated says she's improving after her double-lung transplant.

Janet Murnaghan says on her Facebook page her daughter Sarah was moved on Wednesday from a heavy-duty breathing machine to a traditional ventilator. She calls that "a big step" toward being able to wake Sarah from the heavy sedation she's been under since last week's operation.

Sarah is from Newtown Square, just west of Philadelphia. She suffers from severe cystic fibrosis. She underwent a six-hour operation at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia after a judge intervened in her case and gave her a chance at the list of organs from adult donors, not just child donors.

Sarah's family had said pediatric lungs are rarely donated. Her mother told CBS News correspondent Dr. Jon LaPook she had no details about the donor but that the lungs came from someone over the age of 12.

"Lung transplant is the most challenging transplant of all the organs," said Dr. Joshua Sonett, who specializes in lung transplantation, told LaPook last week. "If she makes it through the transplant and makes it through the first year, she's going to have a 50 to 70 percent chance of making it over five years and perhaps a 50 percent chance of making it 10 years."