Man treated for coronavirus at hospital he helped to build

John Kippen, from Ormesby, helped build the James Paget University Hospital where he received treatm

John Kippen, from Ormesby, helped build the James Paget University Hospital where he received treatment for coronavirus. Picture: John Kippen - Credit: Archant

A coronavirus survivor who required treatment at the very hospital he helped to open was among the patients that trailed a breakthrough drug to reduce virus-related deaths.

John Kippen, a retired electrical engineer, was among the team who worked on the James Paget University Hospital (JPUH), in Gorleston, when it opened in the 1980s.

The 73-year-old spent two weeks in intensive care in March due to the virus where he was recruited onto the RECOVERY trial.

The Ormesby resident was among 75 patients to take part in the clinical trial and one of 11 JPUH patients involved with the dexamethasone arm of the trial.

More: Former coronavirus patient ‘elated’ at breakthrough drug newsLast week, research found the steroid cut the risk of death by one-third for patients on ventilators and a reduction of one-fifth for patients on oxygen, and has now been rolled out to treat patients.

Mr Kippen said: “I’m thrilled to have been part of this. Obviously, there have been so many unknowns attached to this, so if I’ve helped others by taking part, that’s fantastic.”

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The father of two said the hospital had changed beyond recognition since he helped to make sure all wards in the hospital had the systems they needed to be up and running in time for opening.

After contracting the virus he lost more than two stone and occasionally suffers from shortness of breath.

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He said: “I’m normally very fit and healthy, I’ve run seven London Marathons, four Great North Runs, I’ve played cricket, football, badminton - you name it, I’ve done it. It’s just this horrible bug got me and that’s where I ended up.

“I’m feeling absolutely fine apart from when I came home, I had lost two stone in weight. I was on a frame and i couldn’t walk without the frame: I can walk any distance now.”

More: Don’t forget danger of coronavirus after July 4, says coronavirus response leaderProf Ben Burton, clinical research director at JPUH, said: “This research is not possible without the participation of patients like Mr Kippen, and we are incredibly grateful for their involvement.”

The RECOVERY trial was led by University of Oxford and support by the National Institute for Health Research.

Visit to find out how you can get involved in research in COVID-19 and other conditions.

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