18 people die each day waiting for transplants that cannot take place because of the shortage of donated organs. A nationally publicized legal battle this week over a Pennsylvania girl's lung transplant sparked a new debate over the waiting list and donation process.
10-year-old Sarah Murnaghan's family won the legal battle victory to add her name to the list for an adult lung after 18 months of waiting, with cystic fibrosis destroying her lungs. "It was a direct result of the ruling that allowed her to be put on the adult list," said Sarah's aunt, Sharon Ruddock. "It was not pediatric lungs, she would've never have gotten these lungs otherwise."
The organization that oversees national transplant policies has approved a one year change to make children under the age of 12 eligible to be put on the adult lung transplant list. That policy change is in effect until July 2014, then it will be reevaluated.