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Erica’s son helped her take Takeda’s work to heart

June 7, 2021

Erica Manchester was always proud of her colleagues’ work at Takeda, especially their commitment to putting patients first. But when she experienced the following episode with her son, she realized what that commitment really meant.

It began when her eight-month-old son, Cole, started running a fever. Instead of clearing up in a few days, it worsened, “He was like a lifeless lump at that point, not eating, not even crying, and sleeping 23 hours a day,” Erica recalls.

Erica and her husband took him to the hospital, where he was ultimately diagnosed with Kawasaki disease1, a very rare inflammatory disease affecting his heart and blood vessels. The diagnosis came with the news that Cole could suffer permanent artery damage or even death if not treated within the first few days. This urgency meant that there was little time to research options - they needed to put their trust in the medical team and treatment options, one of which is an immunoglobulin treatment.

“Working for Takeda definitely made that moment less of a leap in the dark,” says Erica. “I used to support regulatory agency audits at our manufacturing site, so I trust the quality of our products, and I trust my teammates who make them.”

Following treatment, Cole improved and today, his aneurysm is gone and he’s a happy growing little boy. And Erica was amazed at how Takeda’s belief in putting patients first had impacted her own family.

“He probably would not be here today without an available treatment,” Erica says.

And Erica wouldn’t be in her new role at Takeda either.

Cole’s experience spurred Erica to apply for her current position as Associate Director of Product Operations Project Management in Strategy & Business Excellence, after years working in biologics manufacturing at Takeda.

“Managing the product strategy helping to get treatments to patients and their families is incredibly fulfilling now that I’ve been in their shoes,” she says. “I have a whole new understanding of Takeda’s commitment to put patients first, and I bring it with me to work every day.”