Janet Murnaghan revealed for the first time Friday the first set of lungs failed soon after the June 12 transplant, WCAU-TV, Philadelphia, reported. Her parents immediately returned her to the donor list.
Janet Murnaghan said as her 10-year-old's health began "to spiral out of control," the first lungs were removed and she was put on a bypass machine. But her parents were warned she was likely to survive no more than a week on the machine.
"The doctors are telling us that the first and second transplants have nothing to do with each other. That the first donor transplant was a donor issue," Janet Murnaghan said. "Her body did not reject them."
Sarah, 10, is a patient at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, one of the top pediatric institutions in the United States. Janet Murnaghan said her daughter woke up after an induced coma to discover she had been through two lung transplants.
Sarah is using her hands to communicate, her mother said.
The Murnaghans successfully changed the rules for lung transplants. Previously, children under age 12 could only receive adult donor lungs if no adult recipient was available.