Sarah Murnaghan has pneumonia, her mother says

Sarah Murnaghan and her mother, Janet, at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia on Friday. Her surgeon said it was a miracle she's alive.
Sarah Murnaghan and her mother, Janet, at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia on Friday. Her surgeon said it was a miracle she's alive.
Posted: July 10, 2013

Sarah Murnaghan, the 10-year-old Newtown Square girl who received adult donor lungs last month after her family fought for a change in lung-allocation rules, now has pneumonia in her right lung, her mother said Monday.

Through Facebook, Janet Murnaghan said that doctors believe the pneumonia was caused by "aspirations from her belly," or breathing stomach contents. She said Sarah had a "hard day" on Sunday but was more stable on Monday. She appeared to be responding to antibiotics, her mother said, but was requiring more breathing support from a ventilator.

Janet Murnaghan described the illness as a "large setback."

Sarah received portions of a set of adult lungs on June 12. Those failed to work properly, and she received another transplant of adult lungs on June 15. Those lungs had pneumonia, but the infected lobe was removed before the transplant, Janet Murnaghan said. She said it had not shown up as an active infection in testing.

Sarah's aunt, Sharon Ruddock, said an operation performed last week to improve the function of Sarah's diaphragm was a success.


Contact staff writer Stacey Burling at 215-854-4944 or sburling@phillynews.com.

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