I got paid £2,900 to have Typhoid
I still don’t really know what it is
Last year I was a bit strapped for cash and wanted to make some money quickly.
I noticed a vaccine study for Ebola, since then I’ve been hooked. So January this year I decided to take part in a study for a vaccine for Salmonella Typhi (Typhoid). When I first signed up they told me I’d get £2,900 and as a poor student how could I say no?
It was pretty easy to start with, first I had to have a check up to make sure I was suitable. Turns out drinking a bottle of wine a day isn’t actually that bad, I’m the picture of health.
Next, they have to make sure you don’t have any underlying gallbladder conditions. I didn’t even know what a gallbladder did, but now I can show you where it is ( I even had an ultrasound).
They like to take a lot of blood too, just to keep an eye on everything, so if you’re scared of needles, probably don’t do a clinical trial.
Then they gave me a vaccine, since they were testing how good one vaccine was, they decided to compare it with some others, so I actually could have just been given a Meningitis vaccine.
After four weeks they gave me a drink of water with bicarbonate of soda in it (just so I wouldn’t be contagious), I then had a second drink which contained the bacteria. I had to wear some protective gloves and goggles while drinking it.
They had to monitor me everyday for two weeks to see how I was doing, and for the first week I was fine, I had too fill in an online diary of my symptoms too.
Then the second week happened. I started feeling woozy on the Monday and I just put it down to a busy day and having blood taken. But by Tuesday I could barely get out of bed. I definitely wasn’t going to make it to Equity and Trusts, and my dissertation could wait.
I ended up spending a whole week in bed, catching up on Netflix and sleep with a cocktail of drugs to ease the symptoms. And taking a taxi to hospital every morning so they could make sure I wasn’t dying.
As soon as I got antibiotics though, it didn’t take long to get better, and I was back in lectures the next week.
The hardest part was having to drag myself out of bed each morning, but for £2,900, it’s definitely worth it.
The Philanthropist in me tells everyone I’m doing it help medical science but really, the attraction of money is too great. I might even buy myself a car.