A woman who suffered an agonising foot injury while playing badminton has been helping to carry out research into treatment.
Louise Arthur, from Upper Bucklebury, tore her Achilles tendon – which connects the calf muscle to the heel bone – in February.
The 42-year-old was given the chance to take part in research during her NHS treatment, which involved her being randomly allocated a plaster cast or walking boot as part of a trial comparing the two.
And after taking part with the plaster cast, Louise is urging others to take part in NHS trials to help improve treatment in the future.
She said: “The reason for doing this was the NHS has been fantastic throughout our lives, I wanted to give something back that could help people in the future.
“I am on the go all the time so it was a really hard decision, but I said ‘let’s go with it and whatever system I am on will be important’.
“If anyone can help and look forward in terms of helping other people then I would recommend taking part in research, without any doubt. I have no regrets.”
It comes as a new NHS and University of Reading unit to expand the opportunities for Berkshire people to take part in research was launched yesterday.
The Thames Valley Clinical Trials Unit (TVCTU), as it is called, will allow additional trials on complex issues to be carried out, such as child mortality, antibiotic-resistant bacteria and mental health problems.
Emily Moore, the executive director of TVCTU, said: “I am very excited to be joining this innovative collaboration.
“The involvement of all three partner organisations in providing expert support through the TVCTU provides researchers with a unique opportunity to expand existing areas of expertise into a wide range of clinical settings.
“TVCTU will facilitate an increasing number of clinical trials, meaning that patients in the region will have more opportunity to access new therapies at an earlier stage.
“Ultimately it will produce results which will change clinical practice for all patients nationally.”