Diagnosed with high Lp(a)
JP Corry was 47 years old when three little letters changed his life. LP(a) or ‘lipoprotein little a’ as it is sometimes called is made up of protein and fat. A genetic predisposition to elevated levels of LP(a) in the blood can cause arterial blockages and heart disease. This is JP’s story.
Active and sporty, I was concerned by the mild chest discomfort and booked a doctor’s appointment to check things out. A range of tests did not reveal anything dangerous and I was “healthy and fine.” Perhaps I had pulled a chest muscle?
I persevered, sure that there was something more serious going on, and mindful that cardiovascular disease runs in my family.
“You should be dead,” said the cardiologist who performed an angiogram, confirming that I had a coronary artery that was 99% blocked. “I don’t know how you’re still with us,” he said.
I underwent a process called ‘freezing’ to draw and filter blood. In 2019, two years after my initial stent, I started biweekly freezes.
Often people think that if you’re young and have cardiovascular disease, you must be leading an unhealthy lifestyle when in many cases, it’s a genetic issue. Education is vital. You must also listen to your own body and trust your judgment. Sometimes that means having to be a bit more forceful with the first-line healthcare practitioners that you’ll come across because they might not all be familiar with the different conditions.
In terms of my own inner circle, my family and friends, I advocate for cardiovascular awareness and health and don’t mind making my story public. I treat this as a responsibility and I’m lucky to be here so that I can.
Visit the WHF cholesterol page to learn more.