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  1. ITV Report

Friends who survived coronavirus take part in trial to find potential treatment in Gloucester

Dave Lewins and Jules Annan met in hospital in Cheltenham while being treated for the virus. Credit: ITV News West Country

Two survivors of coronavirus who met in hospital and have since become friends, have decided to take part in a trial at a blood donation clinic in Gloucester to help fight the virus.

Dave Lewins and Jules Annan met in hospital in Cheltenham but the trial they are taking part in is part of a nationwide effort.

The aim is to investigate if the antibodies in the blood plasma of those who have had the virus, which can give them future immunity, can help others who are seriously ill.

Dave suffered so badly from the effects of the virus he had to be put on a ventilator in intensive care. Credit: Dave Lewins
Jules was treated with a CPAP mask which is used to provide oxygen. Credit: Jules Annan

It was really important that I came down with Jules - we met on the ward, we've had daily contact ever since and we've discussed a lot about our family life and the associated anxieties.

– Dave Lewins

He was the only person I saw in the whole time I was there who came from ICU backwards, everyone else was moved from HDU to ITU, it was just great to see someone recovering from it.

– Jules Annan
  • Watch below how the trial works

There are strict medical guidelines on who can donate their blood as part of the trial.

Among these guidelines those participating are checked to see if they have had any recent symptoms, before they fill out a more detailed questionnaire.

Once they have satisfied the necessary criteria, they then go onto take part in the trial.

But Jules and Dave have both been rejected due to existing conditions.

A donor gives blood Credit: ITV News Central

My breathing isn't good enough so I can't do it. I am very upset about it but I understand the reasons why [I have been rejected].

– Jules Annan

It transpired that the cancer that I had 20 years ago, means I am banned now for life from giving blood, as there is a small possibility it could be passed on.

So I totally get it. Its just one of those really unfortunate things.I am bitterly disappointed.

– Dave Lewins

Other people who have had the virus are being encouraged to come forward, as with the trials being nationwide, the majority of blood donor centres are helping to see it through.

For more information on the trial you can visit the NHS website via https://www.nhsbt.nhs.uk/how-you-can-help/convalescent-plasma-clinical-trial/