This medical video looks into the advancements of preventing transplant rejection.
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Jennifer Matthews: More than six years ago, Melinda hair's heart started to fail. She had a condition called cardiomyopathy. Melinda Hair: There was a picture taken of me that I looked a little faded and I felt like that's what was going on. That I was just fading away. Jennifer Matthews: Melinda needed a new heart. After just one week on a waiting list, she got one. Melinda Hair: I had a chance of a new healthy life, and yet, I knew that there's always a chance, when you go into any type of surgery, that you might have complications. Jennifer Matthews: Up to 60% of organ recipients will reject their new organ. That rejection can range from minor to life threatening. Dominic Borie: What we need to find now is solutions that will make sure that once the organ is implanted, it will stay implanted and functioning forever. Jennifer Matthews: Transplant surgeon Dominic Borie is studying this new compound in animals to reduce the risk of rejection. It targets and destroys cells that would reject the organ. Dominic Borie: If we have a drug that would be efficacious and wouldn't create any side effects, then that's as good as it gets. Jennifer Matthews: Dr. Borie says the exciting part is that this compound does not increase the risk of cancer, heart disease and diabetes like current drugs do. After recovering from one life threatening rejection incident already, Melinda is grateful for the research. But for now she's staying focused on just one thing. Melinda Hair: To just not to forget to enjoy life and to cherish it every day. Jennifer Matthews: This is Jennifer Mathew reporting.