A man who had Covid-19 has become the first to take part in what is thought to be the UK’s largest study into how the virus affects people after they leave hospital.
Piyush Madhani ended up spending 12 days on a Covid ward after developing symptoms in mid-March.
But like many who have had the virus, the father of two was still in pain and coughing weeks after being discharged.
He has signed up to the study, based at Leicester’s Glenfield Hospital.
The National Institute for Health Research believes the Post-Hospitalisation Covid-19 Study at its Leicester centre is the biggest of its kind in the country and one of the biggest in the world.
It has been granted £8.4m by research bodies and has been listed as “urgent” by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC).
Ultimately, 10,000 people are expected to enrol in a bid to understand better the lasting impact of Covid-19 and how best to treat it.
Mr Madhani, an IT consultant from Leicester, agreed to be the first of them because he wanted to “help in any way possible” after his “stressful and painful” experience.
He said: “After coming home, the first month of recovery was still painful.
“The coughs were still brutal and caused great discomfort. Twice the pain was so severe that I was close to passing out.
“I hope I will, in some way, be able to contribute.”
He began on Monday and will be assessed through questionnaires, physical tests and advanced imaging.
Dr Rachael Evans, from the research team, said they were looking at the impact on the mind and body, and wanted to see how different treatments affected recovery.
She added: “While we now have a good picture of the initial effects of coronavirus, we still have much to learn about the long term effects of Covid-19.
“For some of the patients in my clinic, recovery happened very quickly, yet others are having prolonged symptoms for months afterwards.
“We want to understand why that is the case so that we can do something to help.”