Girl who took on transplant rules gets new lungs

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PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A 10-year-old girl ailing with cystic fibrosis is recovering from a transplant of adult lungs made available to her by a judge’s controversial ruling that expanded her options for lifesaving surgery.

Sharon Ruddock says her niece, Sarah Murnaghan (MUR’-nuh-han), underwent a successful six-hour surgery Wednesday at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. She says the lungs came through “normal channels” and not through the public appeals the family made.

Sarah’s health was fading when U.S. District Judge Michael Baylson in Philadelphia ruled June 5 that Sarah and 11-year-old Javier Acosta of New York City should be eligible for adult lungs.

Critics warn there could be a downside to having judges intervene in the organ transplant system’s allocation policy. Lung transplants are difficult procedures and some say child patients tend to have more trouble with them than adults.

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