Two friends from Battersea have raised more than £13,000 running the Copenhagen Marathon in Denmark for the hospital that saved their friend’s life after he caught Covid.

Brian Williams from Purley, Croydon, has XLA (X-linked agammaglobulinemia) which is an immune system disorder that reduces the body’s ability to fight infections.

Despite taking medication for the condition and getting the vaccine, Brian suffered a severe reaction to the virus.

He was admitted to his local hospital in July 2021 after struggling with his breathing and two months later was moved to intensive care at St Thomas’ Hospital.

The 36-year-old spent four months in total in hospital before being able to return home.

His best friends Lloyd McMillan and Matthew Lloyd ran Copenhagen Marathon on May 15 to raise money for Guy’s & St Thomas’ Charity.

This was a “thank you” for saving Brian’s life.

READ MORE: Croydon pharmacist jailed for ‘lean’ drug supply

The trio met while working in Dubai around seven years ago and Brian was due to be an usher at Lloyd’s wedding.

Your Local Guardian: The trio met while working in Dubai The trio met while working in Dubai

Lloyd said: “When Brian caught COVID-19 he deteriorated relatively quickly and we were all becoming increasingly worried, which was around the same time as my wedding.

“It was a shock to see just how sick he was, he didn’t look like the Brian that went into hospital.”

“It’s very clear that Brian’s still here because of St Thomas’ so it was a no-brainer to try and give something back to make sure the next person gets to leave hospital like he did.”

Matthew said: “Such was the severity of Brian’s condition, if he didn’t have the absolute best possible care he wouldn’t be here today – it was amazing to see the commitment and unrelenting energy of everyone caring for him.”

“The staff at Guy's and St Thomas', and the extraordinary technology we're fortunate to have access to in the UK, saved our friend's life.

“We know that anything we raise can and will help to save someone else's.”

Brian had spent nine days in a coma and 47 days on ECMO machine, which continuously takes blood from the body, adds oxygen and removes carbon dioxide.

He suffered with sepsis, pneumonia, a cardiac arrest, two collapsed lungs and a severe pulmonary embolism.

Brian was also one of the first patients in the UK to receive Ronapreve, a new medicine used for treating Covid.

Your Local Guardian: Brian visited by his partner AdeleBrian visited by his partner Adele

He said: “I have never felt as rough as I did.

“I literally couldn’t move and after 10 days my breathing was really bad and I dreaded going to bed.

“I never really appreciated how serious it was.

“I was determined to get better so started learning to walk again while on ECMO.

“I thought my best chance of recovery was to build up my strength and to use my lungs.

“I was quite scared to move from ICU to the ward because I was worried something would go wrong but the nurses were wonderful.

“I hadn’t been outside for three months so one of them even wheeled my bed outside next to the River Thames.

“The fact I’m still here today is all down to the incredible staff and exceptional care I received.

“I owe the nurses, doctors and therapists everything and feel extremely fortunate to have been given ECMO treatment which no doubt saved my life.”

“I’m honoured that Lloyd and Matt have chosen to raise money for Guy’s & St Thomas’ Charity and I’ll be supporting them with a pint.”

Your Local Guardian: Lloyd McMillan and Matthew Lloyd ran Copenhagen Marathon on May 15 Lloyd McMillan and Matthew Lloyd ran Copenhagen Marathon on May 15