Being involved in a research study has helped me enormously. It’s the first time since my retirement that I feel I’m doing something really worthwhile and my self-esteem has improved as a result. My wife and I are now also members of the Patient and Public Involvement Group, where we feedback our experiences to senior staff and ask questions that may have been bothering us.
I got involved in the trial through an online advert, asking for people who’d had a heart attack and were taking statins. I filled in my details and a few days later was invited to Leeds General Infirmary – where I’d been treated for my heart attack in 2009 – to discuss the trial. As soon as I met Professor Alisdair Hall and the research team and had things explained to me, I knew I’d volunteer to take part.
Half of those on the trial are given the new product – which aims to reduce cholesterol – and half are given a placebo, and neither the volunteers nor the research team know which is which. I have an injection every fortnight, which my wife gives me, and every three months I go to the LGI where I see the research nurses, and usually Professor Hall as well. I’ve been doing this for just over a year and not for one moment regretted it. At the three monthly meetings, my vital signs are measured, blood samples taken for analysis and we talk through any other medical issues I have, so the team can check for side effects. There’s a really good atmosphere in the clinic and Alan and Eunice, the research nurses, are a joy to spend time with.
I’m not paid for taking part in the trial, but all expenses are covered and I’m collected by taxi on the days of my LGI visit.
I’m delighted to be on the trial. I feel that in a small way I’m contributing to medical science which may help other patients in the future and I know that my own health is being closely scrutinised by experts. Just as important, it’s a good ‘day out’ where I look forward to the visits and feel part of the team.