A STUDENT who missed three years of school through ill health is about to start her dream course after enjoying exam success.
Ruth Bolam has suffered from long bouts of illness since the age of two and was unable to go to school for years as she tried to battle back to health.
After a series of misdiagnoses, she was eventually told she was suffering from ME and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
And following some treatment Ruth was able to join King Edward VI School two years ago.
Her illness continued, but the Newcastle resident was adamant that her studies wouldn’t suffer.
And now not only has she finished her course of treatment, but she has left the school with six GCSEs, including three A grades.
She said: “I feel a bit numb to be honest, I’m still in shock about the results.
“I was determined to get my exams and prove people wrong. I think it’s my personality, I just wanted to do well and not give up.
“The Access Department at the school has been really helpful. The staff helped me a lot, particularly the Head of Year Mrs Stephen.
“I was really ill during the exams, but the Access Department was really good. The staff made sure that I got the support I needed and had breaks and other stuff like that. I couldn’t have done it without them.”
Ruth has now secured the grades she needs to go to Gateshead College to study interactive media and creative design.
“It is all about graphics, design and advertising and all sorts of things so I’m really looking forward to it,” she said.
“It’s what I really want to do so that probably made me even more determined to do well in my exams. I wanted to go to college so I knew I needed these grades.
“I never expected to do as well as I did though – I would have been happy as long as I passed.”
Her mum Val went along with Ruth to offer moral support as she collected her results.
She said: “Ruth has got everything she needs so I’m delighted. Getting her into this school gave her a whole fresh start.
“We expected that she would perhaps get a couple of GCSEs and then go to college to get the rest, or do them in the sixth form, but she has got everything she needs.
“I’m just so proud. It’s an amazing day.”