Beatrice Tate has become the hundredth patient to sign up to take part in a leading-edge heart valve trial at The James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough.
Funded by the National Institute of Healthcare Research, the MAVRIC trial is a £250,000 research project comparing keyhole surgery to conventional surgery for patients requiring aortic valve replacements – the second most common type of heart operation.
Patients taking part in the trial are randomly selected to receive either the new keyhole procedure or the more conventional treatment to enable surgeons to compare clinical benefits such as recovery times.
Cardiothoracic surgeon and chief investigator for the project Enoch Akowuah said: “We have been recruiting since April 2014 and the response has been fantastic. We are aiming to recruit 220 patients in total so we are already more than a third of the way there.
“And the trial is attracting new patients to the region from across the country who would have had treatment elsewhere.”
Beatrice of County Durham said it was very exciting to be told she was the hundredth patient: “I hope it’s a lucky number!” she said.
“I don’t mind taking part because it’s for research and it’s going to help people in the future.”
Research sister Heather Robinson said: “We are very grateful to all the patients who have supported this trial and look forward to seeing the results in 2017”.
Mr Akowuah added: “It has been a real team effort and I would like to thank all the cardiologists in the region who have forwarded us patients and all the nursing and research staff at James Cook who have helped ensure everything runs as smoothly as possible.”