Contributing to Pneumonia Research - Mark's Story

November 9, 2018

Hello My Name is Mark Horsfield.


How did I get involved with the PPI group?


In November 2014 I underwent a Bone Marrow Transplant at Nottingham City Hospital Haematology Department.  I am now in good health but have a compromised immune system. In November 2016 I contracted ‘flu.  I experienced a high temperature and a cough, but a chest X-ray did not show pneumonia.  Over the next few days, my symptoms did not change very much but I showed no improvement.  I went back to hospital and was X-rayed again.  


Over the course of those few days I had developed pneumonia.  I was admitted to hospital to receive intravenous antibiotics.  It was during my recovery that I had a visit from 

Debbie Ashton – Clinical Research Nurse, she asked me to consider taking part in a research study and during this period asked if I was interested in joining the 

Nottingham Lung Infection Research PPI group.  I was keen to volunteer and see how I could have some input into improving information for patients and help in future research.


Debbie coordinates the PPI group and chairs the meetings.  I was made to feel 

very welcome right from my first Introduction to the group.  It was interesting to hear what experiences others had, from diagnosis through recovery and how they compared to mine.  One thing we had in common was that recovery took longer than we’d expected.  Most former patients also found it difficult to find information on how best to aid their recovery.  In the PPI meetings we are asked to give our opinions on different research projects from a patient prospective.  It is encouraging and inspiring to see that our views and comments are listened to and acted on.  We were asked to invite feedback on this website from our friends, family, and acquaintances some of the responses I received reflected how little seems to be known about pneumonia in the general public.


After several meetings I was invited to be a lay co-applicant on a study comparing the use of different antibiotics in the treatment of pneumonia.  To date I have been involved in several PPI meeting were the group have discussed and asked to consider the research protocol.  As a lay co-applicant I have been asked to read the research protocol and NIHR research funding application to give feedback in particular on the plain English summary, to help make sure it was easily understood by people outside the medical profession.


I am pleased to be part of a team making a contribution to the future treatment of pneumonia. The decision for round one of the NIHR funding application is due in November so a further update to follow . . .

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