Brave pupils beat odds to claim great grades

TWO Suffolk students are celebrating after they battled against the odds to achieve outstanding results in their GCSE exams.

Russell Claydon

TWO Suffolk students are celebrating after they battled against the odds to achieve outstanding results in their GCSE exams.

Nadine Fisher received home tutoring and sat her GCSEs in her pyjamas while battling against a serious debilitating disease, and Katy Hadgraft had to contend with her enormous grief following the death of her mother.

But despite their respective problems both Great Cornard Upper School students outperformed expectations in their exams.

Mike Foley, headteacher at Cornard Upper, said: “We are delighted with both of them. What they have overcome would knock most adults down - it is unbelievable.”

Nadine was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis - an inflammatory bowel disease - three years ago and has only been able to attend school for a total of ten months since.

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She was delighted that given the circumstances she achieved A grades in Maths and Music, Bs in English, Science and Textiles and a C in Geography.

“It was very hard not seeing people and when you are not there you can be forgotten about,” she said. “The school has been fantastic though - a great support.”

The steroid treatment for her condition has left her with muscle wastage meaning she is unable to walk more than 30 yards unaided.

She has gone through one set of surgery to alleviate her symptoms but still faces the prospect of two further major operations at Addenbrookes Hospital before the extent of her condition is reassessed.

Her GCSE results have secured Nadine a place at Colchester College to study Maths, Music - she plays saxophone, flute and the piano - and Physics.

But she has decided to defer for a year to concentrate on overcoming her health problems and is also planning to undertake voluntary work as well.

She had to sit two science modules - which she scored A* and A for - in her pyjamas as she felt so ill that day she had to go straight back to bed afterwards.

Like Nadine, Katy also had to overcome a massive hurdle to achieve her success after her mother Tracey, 49, a teacher at Clare Primary School, lost her courageous battle against stomach cancer at the start of her GCSE year last September.

She only had two weeks off school before she was back in the classroom determined to secure the results which would have made her mother proud.

This morning she fought back tears as she discovered she had surpassed all predictions to achieve 2A*s, 5As and three Bs.

She said: “It was really hard but I had to get on with it and she would be so proud.”

Katy will now stay on at the school to study PE, Biology, French and Photography at A-Level and has not ruled out following in her mum's footsteps with a career in teaching.

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