Cash-strapped Oxford Brookes law student infected with Typhoid for £2,900

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By Thomas Connelly on

Wannabe barrister turns to medical trials for much needed financial boost


A cash-strapped Oxford Brookes University law student has been deliberately infected with Typhoid for £2,900.

Sian Rogers — a third-year LLBer — decided back in January to take part in a 12 month study for a vaccine to combat Salmonella Typhi, aka Typhoid.

Rogers, who is self-proclaimed “poor” law student, claims the Oxford University-led study was too good an opportunity to turn down.

Testing one of three new vaccines, the 22-year-old was subjected to a detailed medical examination before being allowed to take part. Given the green light by medical staff at Churchill Hospital’s Centre for Clinical Vaccinology and Tropical Medicine, the young law student was administered the trial drug.

But Rogers, who is an aspiring criminal barrister, isn’t a newbie to the world of drug trials. According to local newspaper the Oxford Mail, she successfully trialled a drug to combat the Ebola virus last year.

Writing about her experience in student newspaper The Tab, Rogers explained how she drank the bacterial substance while wearing protective gloves and goggles.

With daily check-ups, and a symptoms diary to keep, the risk-friendly student explained how things started to go down hill during week two of the trial.

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.

With the vaccine taking its toll on Rogers, she explained how she was bed-bound for the rest of the week, continuing:

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.

With doctors supplying her with antibiotics, Rogers explains how she was soon back on her feet and attending lectures. However, with 10 months still to run on the trial, Rogers will have to attend her local hospital for regular check-ups.

With many law students fearing illness and falling behind with their studies, Rogers justified her decision to take part in the trial, saying:

The Philanthropist in me tells everyone I’m doing it help medical science but really, the attraction of money is too great.

Earlier today, Bar Council big-wigs issued a warning about the escalating cost of becoming a barrister. With some London students forking out as much as £127,000 in pursuit of their dream career, will some be tempted to take a leaf out of Rogers’ book? Who knows, but she is cool as a cucumber.

Explaining what she will do with her £2,900 pay cheque, she snubbed the idea of paying off student debt, saying:

I might even buy myself a car.