John's story - attending as a research participant

Published Tue, 22 Jan 2019 by

My decision to take part in the SCAD research study was prompted by my wish to solve the mystery of what occurred to me in October 2013.

The research base is at Leicester University, so on a dark December evening last year I left my office in West Sussex and drove to the Premier Inn at Leicester. The following morning, a five-minute drive took me to Glenfield Hospital where Dr Alice Wood went through various questions with me. After the preliminaries, I was taken to a separate room for an ultrasound carried out by Dr Wood. This focused on an artery in my upper arm. A short break in which I had my first food of the day followed, and then a session on the exercise bike that gradually put my heart under increasing amounts of stress. During these tests, I was attached to various monitoring wires.

After another short break, I had an MRI scan that lasted about an hour. During the scan time in the tunnel, I was asked several mental arithmetic questions. Luckily, my accountant brain coped with this okay. Whilst I appreciate that some people may find the scan stressful, Dr Wood and her colleague in the MRI scanning room helped put me at my ease. In addition, the MRI scan has been of personal benefit because the results were sent to my GP.

Following lunch, I had a final chat with Dr Wood. This was the first time I have had the opportunity to discuss the mysterious events that resulted in my SCAD back in 2013, and it was very useful to learn more about the phenomenon.

It was a long trip from West Sussex but the staff in the cardiac research department at Glenfield made it a pleasant one. I hope that the data gathered from this research will be of help in understanding the causes of SCAD, and that in turn might prevent others from experiencing it.