International Clinical Trials Day: Saying thank you to our community

Former patient and clinical trial participant Ted Pekala says he is in good health after suffering a heart attack in 2019.

Peninsula Health’s status as an emerging leader in research and innovation would not be possible without clinical trials.

What is more, clinical trials can only happen with the support of members of the Frankston-Mornington Peninsula community.

That’s why this International Clinical Trials Day, we are acknowledging all trial participants who help us further our research goals. 

Take Ted Pekala, for example. Ted suffered a heart attack in October 2019 and was taken to Frankston Hospital by ambulance. 

During his recovery, Ted was asked by our Cardiac Research Unit whether he would be willing to participate in a clinical trial. 

The purpose of the trial is to analyse whether the use of a protein called apolipoprotein may be useful in reducing the risk of cardiovascular death, heart attack and stroke in patients who have previously suffered a heart attack.

“I thought to myself, if I can help out by participating in the trial, it might help somebody else down the track,” explains Ted.

“So if there was anything I could do to help, I would.”

Ted began the trial in late 2019, when he received four weeks of active treatment at Frankston Hospital, administered with an IV drip. 

“I didn’t know whether it was a placebo or not,” says Ted. 

“I then had regular check-ups over the next 12 months. The check-ups included visits to Frankston Hospital, a few blood tests, some phone calls, and a visit to the cardiologist.”

“The staff at Peninsula Health were excellent throughout the whole process,” says Ted.

Ted, who finished the trial late last year, is pleased to report he is in good health. He and his wife, Pauline, are currently travelling through Victoria in their motorhome, with eyes set for Lakes Entrance.

“Living the dream,” says Ted.

About International Clinical Trials Day

International Clinical Trials Day commemorates the day in 1747 James Lind started his study to determine the cause of scurvy.

By dividing 12 sailors into separate groups and testing the effect of providing different treatments to each group, Lind was able to provide evidence of the link between fruit and preventing scurvy. This is the first recorded controlled clinical trial and changed modern medicine.

Around the world, International Clinical Trials Day is celebrated to raise awareness of the importance of clinical trials and research in healthcare.

The Day is particularly important for Peninsula Health, who is establishing itself as an emerging leader in research and innovation, incorporating a greater focus on translational research projects in high-priority areas like health ageing and chronic disease.

Click here to learn more about research at Peninsula Health. You can also read our 2020 Research Report by clicking here.