Sarah Murnaghan Breathing Completely on Her Own

Good Morning America

ABC News Videos

Lung Transplant Patient Breathing on Her Own

Lung Transplant Patient Breathing on Her Own

Lung Transplant Patient Breathing on Her Own

Now watching

Next video starts in : 7 Play

Lung Transplant Patient Breathing on Her Own

Sarah Murnaghan spent the first anniversary of her controversial adult double lung transplant in the hospital this weekend, but she wasn’t sick.

The 11-year-old was getting the tube in her neck, called a tracheostomy, removed -- meaning she can breathe completely on her own for the first time in years.

“She no longer needs any assistance to breathe,” Sarah’s mother, Janet Murnaghan, told ABC News. "She rides her bike, goes to the pool, out to dinner with the family, museums, parks, etc. She is enjoying life."

Sarah rode a bike for the first time post-transplant in March.

Find out how many children benefitted from the Under-12 Rule tweak.

Read what experts had to say about fairness of the Under 12 Rule last year.

Clutching a pink teddy bear and smiling for her mother’s camera, Sarah showed off the bandage on her neck.

“This is the best one year anniversary picture I could ever imagine sending to you all,” Janet Murnaghan wrote on Facebook. “Thank you to our many supporters whose voices helped make today possible.”

Last year, Sarah was dying of cystic fibrosis, a genetic condition that affects cells that produce mucus, sweat and digestive fluid, and she needed a lung transplant to survive.

The Murnaghans successfully fought the so-called Under 12 Rule, which they said was discriminatory because it was preventing Sarah from receiving an adult lung transplant. Under the rule, children under 12 years old are given priority for child lungs, but adult lungs must be offered to adult matches on the transplant waiting list before they can be offered to children.

Their campaign, which included a Change.org petition and a lawsuit against Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sibelius, allowed Sarah to have two entries on the lung transplant waiting list: one with her real birthday and one with a fake birthday to make the system treat her as a 12-year-old.

Sarah received two lung transplants last June at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia because the first one failed. The successful transplant happened on June 15.

Although the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network voted to keep the Under-12 Rule, it made a slight tweak to it, allowing for children to be considered for exceptions on a case-by-case basis. The tweak expires this summer, and the OPTN board will vote next month on whether to make it permanent.

"Organ donation is a precious gift," Janet Murnaghan told ABC News. "We plan to honor this gift with excellent care and a full life to come."

View Comments (69)

Recommended for You

  • Dad Tells Other Dads, 'Respect the Mother of Your Child' in Viral Facebook Post

    A U.K. dad’s advice to fellow dads “respect the mother of your child” has gone viral after being posted in a Facebook tribute to the mother of his 9-month-old son.Tony Emms, of Cresswell Northumberland, in the U.K., posted on Facebook last month a photo of his fiancé, Charlotte Sperry, sleeping…

    Good Morning America13 mins ago
  • Drivers With No Tickets In 3 Years Must Read This

    If you drive less than 50 miles per day, there is a way to pay less for auto insurance that few people realize. Are you overpaying?

    Provide-SavingsSponsored
  • Dad's Piano-Playing Lullaby Soothes Baby Boy to Sleep in Seconds

    Take a look at little Samuel who couldn’t fall asleep because he had an ear infection. The moment his crafty dad starts playing his own version of the classic “Brahms’ Lullaby” however, the soothing sounds work like magic, putting the tiny tot to sleep within seconds.

    Good Morning America13 mins ago
  • Royal Caribbean Cruise Ship Rocked by Hurricane-Force Winds Heads Back to New Jersey

    A Royal Caribbean cruise ship that was rocked by hurricane-force winds overnight is sailing back to port in Bayonne, New Jersey. The ship left from Cape Liberty, New Jersey, on Saturday for a seven-night cruise to the Bahamas. The company posted a message on Twitter saying that all guests are…

    Good Morning America15 mins ago
  • 'Kung Fu Panda 3' Stays on Top at the Box Office

    "Kung Fu Panda 3" scored another box office win during Super Bowl weekend.The animated sequel earned an estimated $21 million in its second weekend of release.'Kung Fu Panda 3' Tops the Box Office'The Revenant' Tops Weekend Box OfficeThe Coen brothers' "Hail, Caesar!" opened in second place,…

    Good Morning America21 mins ago
  • Super Bowl 50: Beyonce Takes Fans Behind the Scenes of Her Performance

    Although Coldplay headlined the Super Bowl 50 halftime performance, all eyes were on Beyonce, who shared the stage with the British band along with pop star Bruno Mars.The singer, who announced her Formation World Tour right after the big game ended, is letting fans in on how her performance came…

    Good Morning America31 mins ago
  • Countdown to New Hampshire With 5 Things to Watch in Tuesday's Primary

    Tuesday will be a critical moment on the road to the White House as residents of the Granite State cast their votes in the first-in-the-nation primary. With independents making up more than 40 percent of the electorate, the New Hampshire primary can often surprise, and that may be the case…

    Good Morning America32 mins ago
  • Manning 'Very Much at Peace' After Super Bowl Win

    The Broncos quarterback talks to "GMA" about winning his second Super Bowl title

    Good Morning America39 mins ago
  • Panda Cub Bei Bei Climbs a Tree With the Help of His Mom

    Bei Bei is moving up in the world.The Smithsonian National Zoo’s baby panda experienced the outdoors for the first time last week and now the nearly six-month-old cub is scaling trees—-with the help of his mom Mei Xiang, of course. The Washington DC based Zoo posted a video of the feat online this…

    Good Morning America40 mins ago
  • White House Asks Congress for $1.8 Billion to Fight Zika Virus

    The Obama administration is requesting $1.8 billion in emergency funding from Congress to fight the Zika virus in the United States and abroad, the White House announced today. The request comes after lawmakers on Capitol Hill urged the White House to address the spread of the virus, which is…

    Good Morning America59 mins ago
  • 4 Ways to Increase Your Chances of Scoring Beyonce Tour Tickets

    Minutes after Beyonce announced her 2016 Formation World Tour during Super Bowl 50, fans flooded to her website looking for more information about the tour, and temporarily crashed the site. Fans have also been tweeting in anticipation and excitement for the ticket sales to go live. Securing…

    Good Morning America59 mins ago
  • Russians Arrest 7 in Alleged ISIS-Related Terror Plot

    Russian security services have arrested seven people accused of plotting terror attacks on behalf of the Islamic State in major Russian cities, the country’s FSB intelligence agency said today. The arrests were made in the city of Ekaterinburg, located in the Urals region on the edge of Siberia,…

    Good Morning America
  • Chipotle Temporarily Closes Restaurants for Company-Wide Meeting

    Chipotle restaurants across the nation are temporarily closing today in an effort to educate 60,000 employees about the food-borne illnesses that have rocked the company in recent months. Food safety protocols will also be explained in the meeting. To make up for the closures, Chipotle is…

    Good Morning America
  • Teresa Giudice Opens Up About Finances, Prison, Future in Exclusive Interview

    "Real Housewives of New Jersey" star Teresa Giudice opened up about her financial situation, her time in federal prison and what her future holds in an exclusive interview with ABC News' Amy Robach. "[We're not in] foreclosure any longer, thank you, God," Giudice said in the interview, airing…

    Good Morning America
  • Child Returns Lost Wallet to Woman With Note: 'Hopefully, I Have Made You Smile'

    A California woman was moved last month after a child returned her lost wallet, along with an adorable note explaining why he did it. "It was just this simple act of kindness that just warms my heart," Taylor Sloan of Santa Rosa, California told ABC News.

    Good Morning America
  • 'Jason Bourne,' 'Captain America' and More Super Bowl Trailers

    Last night, the big game wasn't the only focus for fans. As always, the commercials were highly anticipated and none more than the big blockbuster trailers that dropped during Super Bowl 50.Matt Damon is back as "Jason Bourne" and Robert Downey Jr. has some choice words for a rogue Captain America…

    Good Morning America
  • Owner's Heartbreaking Letter Inspires Elderly Dog's Adoption After Living 5 Years in Shelter

    Roofus, a 10-year-old Weimaraner-mix, was first surrendered to the Bishop Animal Shelter in Bradenton, Florida, in October 2010. Then, sometime after the New Year, shelter employee Samantha Dominis and her fellow staffers came across the fateful letter, which was written by Roofus' original owners.

    Good Morning America
  • Video Shows Survivor Pulled From Debris of Taiwan Earthquake Collapse 2 Days Later

    A woman was still alive today after being buried under debris of one of the collapsed buildings from the earthquake that shook Taiwan two days ago. Rescuers were able to pull her out to safety, as video footage shows. Taiwan’s Eastern Broadcasting Corp. was able to get footage of the rescuers’…

    Good Morning America