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Living In Hope For A Better Life

Tim Lamming’s life was turned upside down after he was diagnosed with the heart condition, MINOCA.

Tim Lamming   heart research   MINOCA   patient story

"New treatment for me would mean I could return my daily life back to something normal again."

Tim Lamming’s life was turned upside down after he was diagnosed with MINOCA and he has been experiencing severe daily chest pain ever since. Tim lives in hope that Professor John Beltrame will bring an end to his pain, with his world-first life-changing research.

At only 42-years-old and living a very active lifestyle, Tim was rushed to hospital after he began suffering severe chest pain, requiring resuscitation in the ambulance.

Doctors are still unsure what caused that particular episode, which was the beginning of a two year ordeal of ongoing heart issues and trips in and out of hospitals, until Tim was finally diagnosed with MINOCA (myocardial infarction with non-obstructive coronary arteries).

“There were many times I was rushed to hospital and leaving with no diagnosis. It wasn’t until I suffered two heart attacks in hospital that doctors could see something wasn’t quite right on their machines,” Tim said.

“I was referred to Prof Beltrame at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital who diagnosed me with MINOCA. I felt relief after I was diagnosed but sadly I still experience daily chest pain. I live in hope Prof Beltrame’s world-first research can help me.”

Unfortunately, there is no cure for MINOCA or the reoccurring chest pains, which means that Tim is on several types of medication to try manage and reduce this pain, battling side effects of the medication such as migraines.

Now at 48-years-old, as a result of his ongoing pain impacting his quality of life, Tim was recently forced to leave his manager position at Bunnings, which was a very hands on role. He also had to stop intense physical exercise to keep the pain at bay.

“I have chest pain every day, sometimes up to three times a day which stops me from living a lifestyle I am in control of as the chest pain is sporadic,” Tim said.

“As it’s an unknown condition I have to be careful with how I handle myself. On the better days I can walk my dogs for up to a block and when the pain is very severe I can be bed ridden for up to three days.

“It’s very severe when I experience a heavy chest and extremely sharp pain up my neck and down my left arm, which is a sign I need to go to hospital.”

Prof Beltrame’s promising research can change the lives of people like Tim, who has put his life on hold while battling daily chest pains.

Knowing there’s no current successful treatments, it can be difficult for patients in Tim’s position to remain positive. This research will bring hope to people like Tim.

“Being such a rare condition and with no known documented medical treatment there needs to be a lot more research into this area to help myself and the many other people out there living with this condition,” Tim said.

“Effective treatment would be absolutely brilliant and I can’t wait to hear the outcomes of Prof Beltrame’s trial. New treatment for me would mean I could return my daily life back to something normal again.”

About Prof Beltrame’s MINOCA research

A typical heart attack occurs when there are cholesterol blockages within the coronary arteries which can be treated with the correct medication. However, for 10 percent of heart attack patients an x-ray of their heart (coronary angiogram) reveals no significant cholesterol blockages in their coronary arteries.

Unfortunately, there is no explanation for why these patients experience a heart attack and most importantly, there are no appropriate treatment methods.

Concerned these patients with ‘unexplained heart attacks’ were being overlooked by clinicians, Prof Beltrame invented the term MINOCA (Myocardial Infarction with NonObstructive Coronary Arteries) as a new diagnosis of the condition.

“This study will be a world-first in examining the role of the microscopic blood vessels in these unexplained heart attacks,” Prof Beltrame said.

“Furthermore, this study is the first to scientifically evaluate if two current standard heart attack treatments alleviate the
recurrent chest pain experienced by patients with MINOCA.

“With an estimated 6,000 patients affected by MINOCA each year, the results of this study will have a crucial impact in their care.”

Prof Beltrame will work with Associate Professor Chris Zeitz, who is an interventional cardiologist, helping to understand the challenges in managing patients with MINOCA.

A/Prof Zeitz will lead the microscopic blood vessels studies and the internationally-acclaimed Coronary Angiogram Database of South Australia (CADOSA) will play a key role in the data collection with the support of Dr Rosanna Tavella and Dr Sivabaskari (Tharshy) Pasupathy.

“We will be collaborating internationally with leading researchers from Sweden, Denmark, Norway and the United Kingdom. These investigators will not only participate in the treatment study but also in a larger study investigating if these medications prevent future major complications in patients suffering MINOCA,” Prof Beltrame said.