11-Year-Old Lung Transplant Patient on Her Way Home

Sarah Murnaghan, who received two double-lung transplants, shown her with her mother, Janet

An 11-year-old Pennsylvania girl who received two double-lung transplants after her parents challenged the nation's organ allocation system is expected to go home this week, more than two months after the life-saving surgeries.

Sarah Murnaghan could leave Children's Hospital of Philadelphia as early as Tuesday, though an exact date hasn't been set, said Tracy Simon, a spokeswoman for the family.

"Sarah wants to come out and thank everyone for their support," Simon said.

The Newtown Square girl with end-stage cystic fibrosis received the transplants in June after a federal judge intervened on her parents' behalf and allowed her to be considered earlier on the adult lung transplant list for her region. The move sparked a furious national debate about lung transplant allocation and changed the way the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network considers cases of severely ill children waiting for the transplants.

A first set of lungs failed, and the child received a second set three days later.

Sarah has improved enough to be free of oxygen for the first time in 2 1/2 years, though she still needs some help from a machine to breathe, she's walking short distances on her own and engaging in physical therapy to gain strength, according to her mother, Janet Murnaghan, who has posted updates about her daughter to Facebook

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