Sarah's Mom Has Strong Words For Government - KMSP-TV

Sarah's Mom Has Strong Words For Government

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PHILADELPHIA -

We have an update to the heartbreaking story of a little girl in desperate need of a lung transplant.

We have been following this story for you for the past week, showing a mother's race against time and red tape that has reached all the way to Washington, D.C.

Tonight, we have strong words from Sarah's mom to the government.

"She's a mother. She's a grandmother. How can she say it's OK for my child to die?" asked a tearful Janet Murnaghan.

She's talking about U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, who two days ago instructed the government-contracted donor organization to review its policy that prevents Sarah Murnaghan from being eligible for an adult lung transplant.

"This case really, you know, kind of touches your heart strings," said Associate Secretary of Health and Human Services George Sheldon. "And so I think it's one of those that's gut-wrenching for the Department of Health and Human Services."

But Sarah's mom says the government is moving way too slowly. She believes Sebelius can step in and do more than order a review. She wants action now, before Sarah's bout with cystic fibrosis claims her life.

"She is legally in a position to save Sarah's life, and she's choosing not to," Janet Murnaghan said. "She is stating that there needs to be change and something is wrong with the system but that she's not going to save Sarah."

Here is the problem: At Sarah's age and size, her body may accept an adult-sized lung, although doctors say the procedure may be more difficult.

Donor regulations say, however, that if you're under 12 you must wait for a child donor, not an adult.

Sarah is 10.

"I have to focus my fight for Sarah because Sarah doesn't time," Janet Murnaghan said.

With the clock ticking down, the desperate mom is asking the public to give the gift of life – and designate it specifically to Sarah.

"That is the only thing that can go above this law, if a family who's giving the gift of life says, 'But for her lungs we want them to go to Sarah,'" the tearful mother said.

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