Mother collects dead son's degree

A PROUD mother is today celebrating her son's graduation after she collected his certificate just months after he died.Clutching a photo of her smiling son Jacqueline Thrower made her way to the stage to collect the university degree on Daniel's behalf.

By LISA WOOLLARD

lisa.woollard@eveningstar.co.uk>

A PROUD mother is today celebrating her son's graduation after she collected his certificate just months after he died.

Clutching a photo of her smiling son Jacqueline Thrower made her way to the stage to collect the university degree on Daniel's behalf.

He died just six weeks before taking his final exams at the University of Portsmouth.

His parents travelled from their home in Broom Hill Road, Ipswich, to pick up Daniel's 2.1 degree in economics, finance and banking at a packed graduation ceremony.

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After the ceremony a tearful Mrs Thrower, 49, said: "Someone suggested that to help us get through the day we should take a photo of Daniel with us so if we looked down he would be smiling. I had it in my programme in my hand throughout the ceremony.

"Daniel had been really looking forward to graduation and had been working hard for his exams. We were planning to come down for the event and still wanted to be here."

Mrs Thrower lined up along side Daniel's fellow students and as his name was called walked bravely onto stage to shake the hand of Vice Chancellor John Craven.

Classmates rose to their feet in tribute of the 20-year-old clapping and cheering in honour of their friend.

And as the mum-of-two stepped down from the stage the packed audience continued clapping in respect of a hard-working student and proud mother.

Daniel was found unconscious in his student flat in Southsea, by his flat-mates on April 27.

They called an ambulance but when paramedics arrived it was too late.

Daniel was diagnosed with Type One diabetes at the age of 13. It is believed he had developed complications related to the disease shortly before he died.

After the ceremony friends of Daniel chatted with Mrs Thrower and husband, Melvin, 59, about university memories and hopes for the future as students swamped Guildhall Square.

Daniel had wanted to be a banker in London or New York after graduating at the university.

Mrs Thrower added: "I was very nervous before I went up to the stage but it seemed the right thing to do. I was so proud of him.

"It is a sad day for us but also we wanted to come to recognise Daniel's achievement. Coming to Portsmouth has brought back a lot of memories for us."

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