Sarah Murnaghan, the Pa. girl whose family sued to get her an adult lung transplant, left the The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Tuesday.
Sarah was carried into her family’s Newtown Square home shortly after she was discharged, where she was met with balloons and a big sign saying “Welcome Home, Sarah!”
Family spokeswoman Tracy Simon said Sarah’s recovery is now focused on building her muscle strength so she no longer has to use a breathing tube. She said Sarah recovered from a case of pneumonia that stemmed from the tube.
Sarah was able to undergo the transplants because her parents successfully fought a rule that prevented her from qualifying for adult lungs.
“I am so thankful to GOD, Sarah’s donors, and the hundreds of thousands of you who stood beside us and fought for Sarah,” Sarah’s mom, Janet Murnaghan, wrote on Facebook on Monday night. “We entered CHOP on Feb 19, more than six months ago. I never could have imagined the journey that lay in front of us. If you are struggling with something bigger than you, I can say two things for sure; God is GREAT and so is the human spirit. There are so many beautiful people in the world! Thank you!!!!”
As of Monday, there were 119,270 people on the waiting list for organs in the U.S., including 76,345 who are actively waiting, according to OPTN. (Some transplant candidates are temporarily classified as “inactive” by a transplant center because they are medically unsuitable for transplant or need to complete other eligibility requirements.) The overall figure includes 1,648 people waiting for lungs. Twenty-five of them are children aged 10 and younger.
Sarah’s parents, including her father, Fran Murnaghan, vowed to continue efforts to allow the sickest children to receive lung transplants first.
“We’re not letting go of this,” Janet Murnaghan told a crowd of reporters and supporters Tuesday. “Sarah’s not giving up and we aren’t.”