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Case study: 'Research Saved My Life' - Alex's COVID-19 research experience

Alex Guerrero, a COVID survivor who took part in the RECOVERY trial which helped to identify the first drug widely used to treat COVID-19, used the CRN East Midlands Research Awards 2021 to thank research professionals for their work during the pandemic.

Alex, who lives in Loughborough, was hospitalised during the first wave of the pandemic. After being transferred to Glenfield Hospital, part of the University Hospital of Leicester NHS Trust, Alex spent almost two weeks in intensive care as his condition deteriorated.

During this period, his wife gave permission for Alex to be part of the RECOVERY trial, a platform trial which has been exploring treatments that may be beneficial for people hospitalised with suspected or confirmed COVID-19.

Alex’s participation in the trial saw him given the drug dexamethasone, which was shown to cut the risk of death by a third for COVID-19 patients on ventilators, and nearly a fifth for those on oxygen therapy. The drug has subsequently been used to treat patients across the world.

Addressing the CRN East Midlands Research Awards 2021 and speaking to members of the research community from across the region, Alex said:

“There is no way to overstate this but because of your work, your time and all those sleepless nights you had, I am alive. I want to thank each and every one of you because your work has meant that I was able to see my family again. 

“I have been given a new lease of life and that’s all because of you. You have made a difference to many millions of lives.  I want you to know how much you have impacted everyone’s lives. Thank you.”

Alex has also encouraged other people to follow his lead and take part in research. “It is really humbling to know I played a part in saving someone else’s life,” he added.

“The knowledge that we had ten months ago has been superseded by what we know now, and you could be part of changing someone else’s life and make sure that someone else is able to return home to see their family.”

Thank you to Alex for sharing his research story and for taking the time to inspire research professionals across the region to continue their vital work. To find out about research opportunities near you, visit