Publish date: 26 March 2024

Meet Charlie!

The 8-year-old helped 'save mankind' after taking part in a research trial at Portsmouth Hospitals University NHS Trust.

The youngster came into the Emergency Department at Queen Alexandra Hospital last year after he had a seizure and high temperature.

A few weeks later mum Caroline had a call from the team to say that as Charlie had tested positive for Flu could they use the swab in a new trial, the Resvir study, testing artificial intelligence technology.

The trial, which has swabbed more than 850 people, aims to identify a range of respiratory infections in minutes.

Now Charlie is back to himself, he and 10-year-old brother Finley made a visit to the Research Medical Unit and laboratories at QA to learn more about research in the NHS.

The pair got to try out virtual reality headsets (that are being used as part of a new robotic-assisted surgery trial), learnt how to use pipettes in the lab and got the chance to look at slides through the microscopes.

Charlie said: "I was poorly and they took a swab. We said they could use it for research. I went back to school and told my teacher that I had saved mankind."

Mum Caroline added: "The teams that looked after him in the Emergency Department were amazing and we have been referred quickly to Neurology so they can keep an eye on him.

"When we were asked to take part in research I thought that there was no reason not to, if you can help then you should.”

Specialist Research Nurse Nicole Sproul said: “It was a pleasure to have Charlie and Finley visit us to find out more about what happens to swabs like Charlie’s as part of the Resvir study and meet some of the people at PHU who work within research.

“It is really special to be part of inspiring the next generation of researchers, nurses, scientists, surgeons or doctors.”

Results from the first phase of the Resvir study will help researchers to train the technology to better identify respiratory infections before the second phase of the trial launches later this year.

The team are still looking for another 150 swabs from people with cold or flu like symptoms to be part of the study.

If you are visiting for an appointment or are an inpatient, a member of the team can visit you. Please ask the healthcare professional you are visiting that you would like to take part in the ResVir study.

All other participants will be asked to visit our Portsmouth Research Hub, based at the John Pounds Centre in Portsea.

If you would like to take part in the study please email  with the word ResVir or call 02392 892053