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Family Of Dying Girl Pleads For Changes To Organ Donor Policy

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(Photo by Getty Images)

(Photo by Getty Images)

CBS Charlotte (con't)

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Health News & Information:

(CBS Radio) — A 10-year-old Pennsylvania girl is at the end stages of her battle with Cystic Fibrosis, and the only thing that can save her life is a lung transplant.

Sarah Murnagham has been awaiting new lungs for 18 months now, however, a policy is impeding her ability to receive an organ donation. Additionally, she has been bed ridden in the hospital, for the last three months.

The Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network requires that patients 12 years of age and older receive adult organ lung donations before patients who are under 12 years of age — regardless of their medical condition or the severity of their illness.

(Related Article: Facts About Donating Your Organs)

For patients like Murnagham, this policy can be the difference between life or death. While she is one of the first pediatric patients who would receive an organ donation if pediatric lungs were to become available, the majority of organs that are donated are from adult donors.

Recently, the little girl’s family and friends started a petition on, asking for a quick policy change so that Murnagham could get the lungs that she desperately needs to survive. To date, the petition has over 300,000 signatures.

After the petition was posted, the top health official in the United States has requested a review of the policy on organ donations. In the meantime, time is running out for this 10-year-old little girl.

If you would like to get involved and help save Sarah Murnagham, you can sign the petition here.

-Nichole Jaworski, CBS Charlotte

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