SAN ANTONIO- A national study could give heart attack victims a second chance of repairing a damaged heart. The study is being conducted here in San Antonio at Methodist Hospital and it starts with a man who has survived several heart attacks.
James Mason has had five heart attacks! And he is in his 40's!! Now both he and his cardiologist, Dr. Nandish Thukral are hopeful the stem cell therapy will make a difference in repairing his damaged heart.
“I had open heart surgery, a double by pass, and then waited about another two years and then I had the defibrillator put in,” explained James Mason.
It’s hard to imagine anyone experiencing all those heart problems especially under the age of 50.
But for James, that has been his reality for the past seven years. That’s why Dr. Thukral asked him to take part in the trial that could help improve his heart.
“If the heart muscle remains impaired after that our hope is that getting stem cells back into that area of the heart it will be added therapy that will help the heart muscle regenerate itself. >
Bone marrow is harvested from James' hip and then processed. The idea is to inject the stem cells into his artery. But, there's no guarantee James will receive the stem cell injection. That’s because the study is a double blinded study meaning neither the doctor nor the patient know whether the injection contains stem cells or placebo.
James is willing to take that chance.
The study will last three years. Dr. Thukral is still looking for qualified participants such as those who have received a stent to open a blocked artery after suffering a heart attack. For more information email: Nandish.Thukral@HCAHealthcare.com or call Cardiology Clinic of San Antonio at (210) 614-5400.