Back in June, I wrote a piece on the emergence of stories where children were refused certain medical care involving their special needs. In it, one of the stories I shared was about 10 year old Sarah Murnaghan, who battles Cystic Fibrosis. Sarah was denied a critically-needed lung transplant in part because of her age. Treated with cold refusal by our current administration in Washington, this little girl’s life was actually saved by the decision of a federal judge who issued a restraining order against the US Department of Health and Human Services. That order kept the HHS from enforcing their policy of only allowing transplant of adult organs into children ages 12 and older in Sarah’s case. Subsequently, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius instructed the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network to waive the rule.
I urged fellow leaders at that time to be aware that these sorts of things are going on in our culture, so that we can support suffering families through them. We need to be prepared to fight alongside them, to make the case that every life has value. And when government programs or medical methods fail, we need to strengthen and encourage them so they can see that there is a Hope that goes far beyond anything this world can offer.
To God’s glory, Tuesday, Sarah Murnaghan was discharged from the hospital. While she still has a long road on her recovery, her body seems to finally be taking the second lung transplant given to her this summer. As news stories rejoicing in her homecoming were posted on the web, comments devaluing this girl’s right to be alive resumed. This only goes to show that we have a long way to go as human beings in understanding how God views each precious life He creates.
Friends, make the most of every moment in the same way Sarah and her family have. Share Psalm 139 again and again with people, so they know the intimacy of their Creator. Continue to support and fight for those with disabilities. Our voice on their behalf becomes more critical every day. Sarah Murnaghan’s case is just one small example of the difference each of us can make if we persevere together.