When Roxanne Watson discovered she needed a heart transplant three years after her heart attack in 2006, she had no idea what to expect. How long would she have to wait? Would her life ever look the same? If she did manage to survive long enough to receive a new heart, would her body just reject it? A year later, she got her answers when a 23-year-old U.S. Coast Guard Fireman named Michael Bovill passed away tragically in 2010. Bovill was an organ donor, and his heart would be given to Roxanne.
After her transplant surgery, Roxanne waited a mere nine days in the hospital before she was allowed to go home. Eight years later, she is still alive and healthy, and she has dedicated her life to signing up as many new organ donors as possible. To ward off the possibility that her immune system will reject her new heart, Roxanne takes two different anti-rejection medications every day, as well as a variety of blood pressure medication and dietary supplements.
“Advances in immunosuppressive therapy have made meaningful life prolongation an everyday reality. Patients can expect to return to healthy, productive lives,” says Salim Mujais, senior vice president & therapeutic area head for Immunology, Transplant, Infectious Disease, CNS and Pain at Astellas.