A PENSIONER who had to be taken to hospital with Covid-19 is encouraging other patients to take part in a national trial if given the opportunity.
Colin Marlborough, from Hartlepool, was not keen on taking part in a research study when he was first admitted to the University Hospital of North Tees in December.
But he decided to give it ago after speaking to another patient on the ward.
The 73-year-old became ill with the virus in December.
After spending three days being treated in the respiratory unit, the research team at North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust offered Mr Marlborough the opportunity to take part in an ongoing study.
Known as the RECOVERY study, this is a national trial which is testing various different potential treatments for coronavirus.
Mr Marlborough, who used to work as an offshore pipeline representative for Shell but is now retired, said: “At that point I wasn’t doing well at all. I’d had scans and had received antibiotics and steroids. I felt completely out of it and had no energy.
“When the nurses asked if I wanted to take part in the trial, I wasn’t in favour at all.
“It was actually a patient next to mine who talked to me after. He had been part of the trial and he said he was feeling so much better and he thought I was making a big mistake by not doing so too.
“After speaking with him, I said I’d give it a go. Within 12 hours of receiving the first treatment, I was already starting to make a recovery. Within the next few days, my condition was transformed – so much so that I was well enough to go home on Christmas eve.”
On the first day of treatment Mr Marlborough received REGN-COV2 antibody cocktail (a combination of monoclonal antibodies directed against coronavirus).
This was followed by treatments of aspirin (used to thin the blood) and the anti-inflammatory medication Colchicine.
Colin Marlborough, and his son Paul, who are both recovering from Covid-19
These all form separate parts of the RECOVERY trial which has rolled out in health trusts across the UK.
Mr Marlborough added: “My advice to anyone who is offered the chance to be a part of this study or any research study would be to do it.
“It changed my life. The staff were also exceptional. They bent over backwards to help each and every patient while I was in their care. They saved my life.”
His wife Shirley, 72, and son Paul, 50, also both took ill with the virus –Paul deteriorated so much that he also had to be admitted to North Tees just days after him – and is also thankful for the care he received.
Alex Ramshaw, the trust’s lead research nurse for the study, said: “Colin is one of so many patients who have gone on to achieve fantastic outcomes who have taken part in this study.
“Every day we are learning more and more about this virus. We are improving how we treat it and we are transforming how we care for patients.
“It’s been an incredible trial to be a part of and has been a team effort from across the organisation. Without the support of clinical staff who have helped recruit these patients to the study, we couldn’t have achieved what we have so far.”