Sarah's Family Reacts To Call For Donor Policy Change - New York News

Sarah's Family Responds To Organ Transplant Group's Policy Review

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Sarah Murnaghan celebrated her 100-day brave party Friday at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Her aunt says the 10-year-old's battle with cystic fibrosis has been one heck of a fight. 

"She lost a lot of her  hearing from all the drugs. She has two fractures  in her back from all the coughing," explained Sharon Ruddock.

As if that's not bad enough, the Newtown Square, girl will die unless she gets a lung transplant soon.

"We say you fight and you'll get lungs. You keep fighting and hanging in we'll get you lungs."

Sarah is two years too young to get on the waiting list for an adult lung transplant. Instead she's on a pediatric list, forced to wait for a rare child donor.

"This case really tugs at your heartstrings," said George Sheldon, the Assistant Secretary of US Health & Human Services.

HHS along with UNOS, "The United Network of Organ Sharing," have the power to help save Sarah's life.

HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius sent UNOS a letter Friday, urging them to improve their policy so more children can receive organs.

But it didn't require the federally contracted organ transplant system to make an exception for Sarah.

"The rules are immoral. The kids are at back of line," exclaimed Sarah's aunt. "We believe kids should be in front. Not in front but in line equitably with adults."

Per Secretary Sebelius' request, UNOS has agreed to review its policies. But its decision could be months, maybe even years too late for Sarah.

Spokeswoman Anne Paschke says: "It's not untypical to take a couple of years for a policy to be developed, go out for public comment and be voted on by the board."

For the 10-year-old girl who dreams of being a star, her best shot at life may be a direct donation, someone saying their loved one's lungs have to go to Sarah.

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