A medic who is recovering from Covid-19 is continuing to save lives as he takes part in a national blood plasma trial.

Richard Webb-Stevens, from Wealdstone, was rushed to Northwick Park Hospital in March after he became critically ill with Covid-19.

The medic who worked for London Ambulance Service for over 20 years had to spend five days in a coronavirus ward at the hospital after the symptoms overcame him.

He said: “I woke up one day feeling a little bit chestier than usual and it didn’t feel like asthma. The symptoms came on all of a sudden about four hours later. It honestly felt like I had been hit by a bus.”

Since recovering, the NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) contacted Mr Webb-Stevens to use his plasma and antibodies to help others.

He continued: “‪I’m truly over the moon. Apparently, I have enough antibodies to help others.

“I’ve felt so useless not being on the frontline for the first-time years – but now at least I can still play my part in helping fight against this awful virus.”

NHSBT is prioritising people with positive tests and men – as they are more likely to have high antibody levels – to donate.

If the trial is successful it could be used in hospitals to improve the chances of survival and speed of recovery for coronavirus patients.

But during his time at hospital, the conditions were so bad that Mr Webb-Stevens was unable to speak and had to communicate through sign language on the phone.

Mr Stevens, who was born deaf, said he found it tough in hospital where doctors and nurses wore masks and he was unable to read their lips.

He said: “It was difficult being able to distinguish who was talking but the nurses and doctors there were so understanding and they would take things a little slower and try to minimise the noise when talking to me.”

Once leaving the hospital after five days, it took about six additional weeks to recover to the point where he could return to a “normal routine”.

He says now it is still difficult to walk up the stairs or to do little tasks – due to being overcome by shortness of breath.

He concluded: “I’ve still got a long road to recovery, but I know I am one of the lucky ones.”

The NHSBT are looking for more plasma donors to help with trials.

Anyone who has had coronavirus, either a test result or the symptoms, can offer to donate at a donor centre by calling 0300 123 23 23 or visiting the NHSBT website.