Sarah Murnaghan celebrates milestone after surviving double lung transplant, winning court battle

(WTXF/FOX NEWS) -- Sarah Murnaghan, who survived a double lung transplant and won a court battle against the Department of Health and Human Services, recently celebrated a new milestone: her 16th birthday.

Sarah made headlines in 2013 when her family filed a lawsuit against the HHS to change the existing rules for organ donation. At the time, 10-year-old Sarah was dying of cystic fibrosis and was in desperate need of a lung transplant. Under the original guidelines, children under the age of 12 had to wait for pediatric lungs to be available, while adult lungs could not be offered to children until they had been offered to adults and adolescents first.

The Murnaghans argued the rule keeping her off the adult list was "discriminatory."

Originally, former HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius refused to grant an exception to the rule. But on June 5, 2013, a federal court judge granted a temporary order that allowed Sarah to join an adult organ transplant list.  

Just seven days after the ruling, Sarah received a pair of adult lungs and underwent her first lung transplant at CHOP. However, she suffered from a complication called primary graft failure (PGF), which caused her health to deteriorate after the initial operation.

Fortunately, three days later, the Murnaghans were told that a new pair of adult lungs were available for Sarah, and she underwent a second transplant that was ultimately successful.

The Newtown Square family has since relocated to Florida, though it still returns to CHOP for doctor appointments.

Sarah and her mother, Janet, stopped by Good Day Philadelphia on Wednesday to share their story.

Janet has penned a new book, "Saving Sarah: One Mother's Battle Against the Health Care System to Save Her Daughter's Life," which is available in stores and online.

For more on Sarah, please visit Sarah's Heroes.

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