Desiring to Make a Difference: A Patient's Story


As a devoted mother of seven children and a cherished grandma to eleven grandchildren, Carol’s days are filled with warmth and purpose.

Carol's journey into the world of clinical trials was born not out of personal necessity as she has no medical conditions but from a desire to make a difference. Discovering the opportunity to join clinical research through social media, she felt compelled to lend her hand in the fight against Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), particularly in protecting the vulnerable, such as children.

“The treatments involved blood tests and the trial vaccine. It was also good to have my own health checked out before being allowed into the trial."

For Carol, the true reward lay in knowing that she was playing a part in shaping a better future for generations to come.

Throughout her experience with the trial, Carol said the kindness and attention to detail made her feel valued and supported every step of the way.

"The experience has been great. The Optimal staff are lovely, you always feel taken care of and there’s always food and drinks offered which is a bonus, and parking available. Optimal makes it as easy as possible to be included."

As Carol reflects on her journey, she is filled with a sense of gratitude for the opportunity to contribute. To those considering joining a clinical trial, she urges them to take the chance to make a difference. Already, her own experience has inspired friends and family to follow in her footsteps.

“What I have gained from the study is a feeling that I am a small part of a greater good. I feel like when I leave this planet, I have left it a better place in helping others.”

Carol extends her heartfelt thanks to GSK, the study sponsor. She recognises the invaluable role they play in driving forward medical research and innovation, knowing that without their work, the world would be poorer for it. Carol looks to the future hoping for a day when a vaccine will offer protection to all, a result of the power of collective action and compassion of people.