Sarah Murnaghan, 10, receives adult lung her parents fought for

PUBLISHED : Friday, 14 June, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 14 June, 2013, 3:47am


A 10-year-old American girl whose dire need for a lung transplant catapulted her into the political spotlight underwent potentially life-saving surgery after a donor was found.

"We are thrilled to share that Sarah is out of surgery. Her doctors are very pleased with both her progress during the procedure and her prognosis for recovery," said the child's mother, Janet Murnaghan.

The Pennsylvania girl, who suffers from cystic fibrosis and was facing death without a transplant, had surgery early on Wednesday after lungs from an adult donor were identified.

The case drew international attention when the child's family gave interviews to cable news networks and pleaded with the US government to bend the rules and allow her to be put on the list for an adult lung transplant.

She was at the top of a waiting list for children under 12, but pediatric donor lungs are far rarer than those from adults, and experts had given Sarah only a few weeks to live if doctors did not perform a transplant.

"The surgeons had no challenges resizing and transplanting the donor lungs - the surgery went smoothly and Sarah did extremely well," her mother said.

"We are elated this day has come, but we also know our good news is another family's tragedy. That family made the decision to give Sarah the gift of life - and they are the true heroes today."

Last week, a US judge took the unusual step of ordering that the child should be placed on an adult waiting list.