Researcher's Day New York Health Works

Medical Researchers – The Unsung Heroes of Health Care

On May 22nd, we hosted a powerful event about the impact of medical research and innovation.

Did you know that medical researchers are responsible for the research and development of anti-rejection drugs and life-saving drugs that prolong the lives of patients waiting for a transplant?

This is what we learned from Aisha M. Tator, the Executive Director of Donate Life NYS, who gave the opening remarks. Donate Life NYS is an organization whose mission is to increase organ, eye and tissue donation in New York State through collaborative advocacy, education, promotion and research. Their goal to ensure a transplant for every New Yorker in need is a goal we can all stand behind.

We then heard a moving testimony from heart transplant recipient and patient advocate Roxanne Watson.

Roxanne suffered from a silent heart attack at work, which went unnoticed and undiagnosed for months. Once on the transplant list, it took 4 years for her to get a heart transplant. By this time she was in the hospital for 88 days, body withering down to 95 pounds.

Today, with a new heart, Roxanne is healthy and active as an advocate for other patients. She shared that she “gladly takes 27 pills a day”, because without all the investment in research by the biopharmaceutical community, as well as the generosity of an organ donor, she wouldn’t be here.

Closing the event was Sanofi neurobiology researcher Dr. Pablo Sardi. We heard from Dr. Sardi about the research process and the trials and successes of medical research.

He shared how out of the hundreds of projects and studies that are done, only a few are successful. Yet despite how this looks, it’s so important to continue investing in research. There are cures, therapies and treatments today for diseases that didn’t exist 30 years ago. Through advancements in medicine, we’ve been able to drastically improve the quality of life for sufferers and sometimes even prolong life for those afflicted with disease.