By Jim Melwert, Mark Abrams, Stephanie Stahl
NEWTOWN SQUARE, Pa. (CBS) — The 11-year-old Newtown Square girl who made national headlines when her parents sued to get her on the adult lung transplant list is finally home after a long hospital stay.
Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia had been Sarah Murnaghan’s home for the past six months. She even celebrated her 11th birthday in her hospital bed, but now, the little girl is home.
Her mother, Janet Murnaghan, says Sarah is relieved to be home and surrounded by the love and support of her two younger brothers and a sister.
WATCH: Sarah Murnaghan and Her Family Meet With Press
Still a long road of recovery, her mother says Sarah works several hours a day to rebuild the muscles that weakened while she was bed-ridden before and after her surgeries. And, while she still uses a machine to help her breathe, she no longer needs supplemental oxygen.
“The lungs are doing incredible, she’s weaning off the machine, she’s weaned off oxygen. But she has the tracheotomy as you all know and that’s because of the muscles, so the trach is helping her breath because her muscles just can’t do it by themselves yet,” said Janet.
On June 5th, days after her mother’s very public plea for help, a federal judge’s ruling cleared the way for Sarah to get priority on adult lungs.
But her first transplant on June 12th failed, then a few days later, a bout of pneumonia had her second transplant in question, but the family says those new lungs show no sign of rejection, and today, the 11-year-old is back in her Newtown Square home.
Janet says Sarah faces months of intensive rehab to get all of her muscles back in shape, including learning to walk again. But the family has high hopes she can one day resume a normal life.
“We are looking forward to Sarah having a nice, long life, going to college, getting married, having a family and doing everything that we dream for our other kids,” said Janet.
In the meantime, Sarah has to get ready for the start of fifth grade. She will be getting homebound instruction from her teachers for now.