Skip to main content

The Murnaghan case

If you've been paying attention to any of the news websites lately (CNN, Yahoo, etc), you may have seen a story about Sarah Murnaghan, a ten-year-old girl with cystic fibrosis who is fighting for her life. The story is very controversial because, well...I'll just let you read the article posted by CNN. The link is below:
Instead of saying my opinion on the matter, I decided to let Nathan Lawrenson do the talking. Nathan is the husband of a woman with CF who has undergone two double-lung transplants. Needless to say, they are quite familiar with the system of organ donation. I encourage you to dive into his thoughts and discover for yourself what you believe about organ donation. After reading the CNN article and the response by Nathan, please pray for Sarah and her family. Pray for a miracle. Pray for healing. Pray that God's will be done in this situation.

" Here are a few of my thoughts about this story as the husband of a two-time double lung transplant recipient. The following is simply my opinion based on over five years of being heavily involved in the organ transplant community. Please, do your own research and come to your own conclusions, but if you agree with what I have to say below, please consider sharing this with your friends in the hopes of ...saving more lives.

The bottom line with any crisis transplant story like this is very simple. There are not enough registered organ donors in the US (and around the world). We've all heard of the law of supply and demand...quite simply, the demand for organ transplants far outweighs the supply of organ donors.

By last count, 94.7 million people were REGISTERED organ donors in the US in 2010. If you consider that the population of the US is nearly 317 million, we can calculate that less than 30% of the US population are registered organ donors. Now, consider that many people who are organ donors will die in such a way that some or all of their organs will not be viable for transplant, and that 30% gets even smaller. Imagine if that number were closer to 100%? How short would the wait be then for Sarah and the other 120,000 people waiting for an organ transplant? Currently, 18 people die every day waiting for an organ transplant, NOT because of the system, but because of the unwillingness of others to become registered organ donors.

The system in the US is not perfect, but it is MUCH closer to perfect than it was just 10 years ago, and it is the most “fair” system of it’s kind in the world. The most frustrating part about this story is not reading about how the system is broken, but reading the comments of people who have read the misleading information about this story and claim they’ll never be an organ donor as long as the system is “corrupt”. I appreciate that this story is being shared around the world, and I hope that it will bring awareness and numbers to the organ donor registry, but I do wish the media would do their due diligence and report all of the facts so that people are not so mislead.

The system is more “fair” that what people are being led to believe by this story. I won’t blame Sarah's family for this...having worked with the media several times I know how hard it is for the media to get all of the facts correct and to not dramatize things in a way that is misleading. I can understand better than most the desire that Sarah and her family have to do anything in their means to find those new lungs for her. But, the facts being reported are somewhat misleading and incomplete. For example, I’ve yet to see any of the reports about this story list the increased risks of giving a small child like Sarah adult sized lungs. It’s not, as we are being led to believe, simply about giving adults the first dibs at adult lungs because “those are the rules”’s far more complicated and “fair” that that.

I'll end with this. Shame on anybody who has pity on this little girl but is not willing to be an organ donor AND ask those they know to become organ donors. I’ll be praying for Sarah and her family, and I hope you will as well. She deserves new lungs just as much as anybody else. BUT, if all we’re willing to do is pray, if you aren’t also a registered organ donor or willing to become a registered donor today, I have a hard time believing that your prayers will accomplish much. If you have offered to pray, to send money, or to sign the online petition for Sarah, are you also registered organ donor? Because ultimately, more than anything else, that is what Sarah needs.

Please visit the websites below for more information about organ donation and transplantation and to become a registered organ donor yourself today."


Popular posts from this blog

CF Walk Letter 2018

Dear friends and family,
I hope this letter finds you doing well! My life looks pretty different this year from last year. In May, I graduated with my master’s in communication sciences and disorders. I started working as a speech-language pathologist in June for a company called SpeechCare, and in July, Eric and I got married. That was a very busy couple months! I love my job; I work mainly with adults with intellectual and/or social disabilities to help improve their communication skills. My clients bring me so much joy! I love being able to help them communicate better with others. Eric and I are also loving being married. Living with Cystic Fibrosis has taught us to never take the time we’re given for granted, and we are making sure we soak up all the moments we’re given and go on plenty of fun adventures. 
My health has been a bit of a struggle in the past few years. I had a round of IV antibiotics in May and then again in September and January. I will be starting IVs within the ne…

The day that was yesterday

Wow. What a day yesterday was. Here’s what happened:
At around 4:45, my hand became numb and tingly. Because I’m a knowledgeable SLP, my first thought was “oh my gosh I’m having a stroke”. Although the numbness was my first (and only) symptom, it was so bizarre how my hand just all of a sudden lost feeling in it. About 5-7 minutes into the numbness sensation, it started traveling up my arm and reached about midway up my forearm. Due to my history of a PE and being on Amicar (a blood clotter) right now because of a lung bleed, pretty much the only option was to go to the ER. I called CF clinic, and they confirmed that I should head over there. The ER is the most disgusting place, especially in the middle of cold and flu season. They also apparently have never heard of CF protocol because I had to demand to be put back in a room immediately and for everyone who came in my room to be gowned, masked, and gloved. From the beginning to the end of the 5 hour ER stay, it was pretty disastrous.…

Thankful in the hard times

With a disease like cystic fibrosis, it can be easy to get lost in all the pain, fear, and frustrations and lose sight of what we have to be thankful for. This year has been rough. I started the year with a blood clot, quickly followed by increasing worry about the state of health care in America, all while losing a significant amount of lung function and dealing with way too many lung bleeds. However, no matter how hard the year, I believe it’s always important to reflect on the many blessings we have been given. It’s too easy to wallow in self-pity and pain otherwise. So this post is dedicated to just that—thanking God for all He has given me. 
I’m thankful for... My new husband ❤️. As I’ve said before, many CFers wonder if they will ever find someone who will choose to love them day in and day out with all the stresses that come with cystic fibrosis. Being the spouse of someone with CF is not for the weak or faint of heart. My husband has taken a crash course in medical terms, health…