Sarah's Family Turns To Law Firm, Running Out Of Options - New York News

Sarah's Family Turns To Law Firm, Running Out Of Options

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PHILADELPHIA -

Sarah Murnaghan and her family are running out of options. They thought a top federal official might intervene on their behalf and place Sarah on a waiting list for adult organs, but it didn't happen.

Sarah desperately needs a lung transplant, and right now she's on a pediatric list, where lungs are in very short supply. Getting on the adult list would improve her chances of survival, but Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told the family it's not her call.

Sarah's mother, Janet Murnaghan, had this to say, "We feel like she's left our child to die, rather than do her job and take a stand."

Sarah is not allowed to be on the adult list because she's only 10 years old. Organ donor rules say she needs to be 12 or older. Her parents insist she and other children like her are being discriminated against.

"We have shown her very clearly the negative impact this policy is having on kids and how kids are dying at a much much greater rate."

So, Sarah's parents teamed up with a high-powered law firm to challenge the HHS secretary.

Sebelius has ordered the organ donor committee to review its policy on children, but the Murnaghans say that's not enough.

"My child does not have years. My child has weeks," Janet Murnaghan said.

At the same time, Sarah's parents are appealing directly to the American public.

"A few evenings ago, she asked if she was going to die. We were holding her, and she was getting tired and wanted her bed, and she asked if she could go to bed. And, of course, we said, 'Yes.' But then she asked us, 'If I go to sleep, will I wake up tomorrow?'"

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