Submitted / The Natchez Democrat — Sarah Rowell smiles into the mirror Nov. 27 at the workout room on her floor prior to surgery.
Submitted / The Natchez Democrat — Sarah Rowell smiles into the mirror Nov. 27 at the workout room on her floor prior to surgery.

Heart transplant successful for former Dunleith planner

Published 12:05am Tuesday, December 3, 2013

NATCHEZ — The former Natchez woman who was awaiting a life-saving heart transplant has received a new heart and is recovering well.

Sarah Rowell, 33, was diagnosed with viral cardio-mypopathy in 2002, and was able to treat it with oral medication for more than a decade. During the summer, however, the effectiveness of the medication began to wane, and she was told she would soon need a heart transplant.

Rowell received the needed transplant at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville Friday, and is in good spirits and doing extraordinarily well, long-time friend Lana Palmer said.

“The surgeon said usually they have to give patients four (intravenous) medications after the surgery, and she only had to take one,” Palmer said.

“It is like her power to live is unbelievable. They think even by this week she will be out of the hospital.”

While she’ll be out of the hospital soon, Rowell will be living in a condominium with a sterile environment near the hospital for the next four months, Palmer said.

Rowell, who currently lives in Savannah, Ga., and was at one time the event planner for Dunleith Historic Inn, has insurance and is receiving help from the Georgia Transplant Foundation, but still faces significant medical costs.

“She has been in the hospital at Mayo for the last three months, and has to stay at the condo and pay for food, health care, et cetera, until she can go,” Palmer said.

Those who would like to help Rowell may donate to the hope fund set up for her at Magnolia Bank.

Checks can be designated to the Sarah Rowell fund at Magnolia State Bank, PO Box 508, Bay Springs, MS 39422.

Donations can also be made via PayPal at magnoliastatehopefund.com/donate.asp.

Other updates about Rowell can be followed online at sarahrowell.tumblr.com.

doctors