Future is bright for young Ipswich student who battled brain aneurysm during her studies

Kelly Will with the sculpture she has created for her final degree show at the University of Suffolk

Kelly Will with the sculpture she has created for her final degree show at the University of Suffolk.

Completing a degree is a proud moment for any student – but Kelly Will has more reason than most to be celebrating her achievement.

Kelly's work is inspired from her time working in pubs and bars.

Kelly's work is inspired from her time working in pubs and bars.

Two years ago the future was uncertain for the young pub worker as she was preparing to undergo critical surgery on a large aneurysm in her brain.

But today the beaming 26-year-old is looking toward the next stage of her life - training to be a teacher - as she graduates from the University of Suffolk with a master’s degree in arts practice.

And Kelly, of Christchurch Street, Ipswich, has double the reason to smile, as she has been told her operation was a success.

She said: “No more scans, it [the aneurysm] shrunk over time since I had the surgery.

“Now all my senses are really sensitive, like hearing and sight, I have to wear sunglasses all the time outside, certain frequencies make me feel sick, but that’s really the only side effect I’ve got. It’s not a bad one though, it’s like everything is in HD [high-definition], which is a good thing.”

Kelly spent Christmas Day 2014 in Addenbrooke’s Hospital recovering from a four-and-a-half-hour operation to create a bypass around the aneurysm.

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Forced to put her studies on hold following the procedure, which carried a 25-40% risk rate, Kelly returned to the university in 2015 to finish the course.

Tomorrow Kelly will find out what grade she has achieved, and she is inviting people to visit her final degree show that is being displayed at the university’s Waterfront Building in Ipswich until September 9.

Describing her work, Kelly said: “I have done a sculpture of an old man sitting at a bar. I have worked in pubs for 10 years and I have always interacted with lonely, isolated people who just want to talk to someone.

“The sculpture is about 3-4ft tall and because he is smaller I want the viewer to feel how vulnerable he is, his character, he represents everyone who I have been in contact with while working in that position. I wanted to portray the empathy that I feel for these people.”

The exhibition is open from 10am to 4pm, Monday to Saturday.

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