If I had only known…..

It’s something we often ask ourselves. 

How many times have we missed something and wished we hadn’t? Or acted on something and been grateful we did.

Ross Graham is grateful he acted when he did 30 years ago. At just 48 years old, this fit and healthy marine engineer, and father to 4, was at work when he just didn’t feel well. He went to see the company nurse to have his blood pressure taken, and the reading was 240/140. The advice was to ‘see your doctor in the next few days’. Advice he ignored and which ultimately saved his life, as he was on the verge of a heart attack.

Ross was lucky. As he volunteered for the Royal Lifesaving society and there was a family history of heart attacks – so he recognised the signs. That’s why he is still here 30 years later.

But what about you? 

Do you know what’s going on in your body at this very moment? 

And what about the increasing number of people having heart attacks with no family history, no traditional risk factors or symptoms? 

People whose heart attacks come out of the blue?

Well, there’s an exciting new medical discovery which could alert you to the fact that you are at risk of a heart attack or have cardiovascular disease.

At this very moment, your cells might be “signalling” your body to warn it of danger and injury. These signals are called Extracellular vesicles or EV’s – and importantly for heart disease, it is now known that EV’s are actively secreted by coronary artery disease (CAD) lesions and that their content, number, and cell-origin is correlated to the severity of the disease.

Understanding these EV’s could be a significant piece of the puzzle when it comes to predicting the presence and severity of heart attacks and coronary artery disease. 

What a discovery!

Being able to harness the power of EV’s as an early warning system – has the potential to save countless lives. 

Which is why Heart Research Australia is funding Dr Marie Besnier, and the BioHEART team, in their research into getting a greater understanding of how EV’s work. The aim of the research is to look at trying to develop a new technique to be able to analyse the chemical and physical properties of these EV’s, and to develop a very practical, user-friendly tool to study them.

Today, could you please join us in donating to heart research, which could help us identify warning signs that a heart attack is imminent, years or even decades, before it happens? 

Together we can change the future of heart disease for us and all our loved ones because as Ross says,

 “If I had died that day, I would have missed out on so much. I wouldn’t have seen my 4 children and 8 grandchildren grow up and I wouldn’t have enjoyed the 51 years of marriage I have spent with my beloved wife, Jan. I firmly believe if it wasn’t for research, I would not be having this conversation with you today.”

As you may know, our first-stage research does not attract government funding so we rely on the generosity of wonderful people like you to ensure our researchers can continue their vital work.