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International Clinical Trials Day 2020 - Stan's Story

International Clinical Trials Day 2020 - Stan’s Story

Date of release: 20 May 2020

Our second patient story comes from Stan Harper, who kindly took part in a clinical trial back in 2018 - all while undergoing open heart surgery!

Latest News: Stan Harper - International Clinical Trials Day 2020

The 72-year-old recalls how quick and simple it was to sign up to the trial, and is encouraging others who may be in hospital receiving treatment to consider taking part in research if given the opportunity.

He explained: “I had been referred for an operation after finding out that my aortic valve in my heart was not working properly.

"I’ve been overweight and feeling exhausted all the time but couldn’t work out why; I had an active lifestyle and a good diet - it just didn’t make sense.

“It was quite a shock to find out that it was my actually my heart and that I was going to need surgery!”

And it was while waiting for his operation, sat on a ward at New Cross Hospital, that Stan was approached about taking part in a trial that would occur mid-surgery.

Having worked in a range of areas, from finance to national security, Stan has always appreciated the point of trying new things and working differently to achieve good results, so was more than happy to take part and contribute towards improving outcomes for cardiac patients like him.

“It’s always been a part of my make up to try and make things better if possible - in my career I tried to think outside the box and with this I hoped I could contribute to helping future patients get the most effective of treatment and have the best recovery.”

The trial itself tested a medical device and how effective it was at reducing the risk of kidney problems after heart surgery.

And while this study is still waiting for its results, Stan was happy to play his part and couldn’t find fault with the whole experience.

“After surgery I instantly felt better, and I can now walk up the stairs without being out of breath!

"My experience of being in a trial was really brief, because it happened while I was unconscious, but by saying yes to the trial, what was a few hours for me may possibly mean a lot more to the cardiology profession and to future patients.

“I’m so grateful for the team for what they did - the treatment was exemplary and I can’t thank them enough for what they did and to the research team for giving me an opportunity to help others.”

A Teaching Trust of the University of Birmingham