East Lancs teenagers making grade against odds

SURGERY: Laura Banks hopes for career in medicine

TOP MARKS: Tobi Dalton

DEFIED ODDS: Charlotte Addison succeeded despite being diagnosed with a tumour and suffering a stroke

First published in News Lancashire Telegraph: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

MANY East Lancashire teenagers defied the odds to succeed in their GCSE exams. Here are some of their stories.

* An ‘inspirational’ pupil of Westholme School in Blackburn has defied the odds and gained eight GCSEs despite being diagnosed with a brain tumour.

Charlotte Addison, 16, from Hoghton, had an operation in March, two weeks after being told of her condition, because it was so serious.

Just weeks later Charlotte discovered she had been chosen as one of a few hundred students to secure a place at national Youth Theatre in London.

They have agreed to hold a place for the aspiring actress.

Principal Lillian Croston said: “Charlotte had put in so much effort and hard work prior to her illness, and she was able to celebrate her four As, one B and three Cs grades.”

* A Rawtenstall student scored top marks in her GCSEs despite undergoing emergency surgery midway through her exams.

Laura Banks, from Alder Grange Community and Technology School, had to break off from her exams and spend a week in hospital after she underwent an operation to remove her appendix.

However, despite that setback, the 16-year-old still gained 13 GCSEs including 3A*’s and 7 A’s.

Laura, who is considering a career in medicine, said: “I’m thrilled to bits with my results.

“I was right in the middle of my exams when I suddenly started feeling really ill.

“I ended up having my appendix out and spending a full week in hospital, which meant I missed four exams.

“The school were great and managed to get special permission from the exam boards.

“In some subjects, because of the amount of coursework I’d done, they were able to give me a grade based on that.”

Laura now plans to study for A-levels.

* A GCSE student gained top marks even though he lost his revision notes in a house fire.

Tobi Dalton, of Alder Grange Community and Technology School, Rawtenstall lost everything when his parents’ home burnt down on Mothers’ Day.

But that setback failed to stop the 16-year-old from gaining 11 GCSEs, including two A*’s and five A’s.

Tobi, who plans to join the Marines after taking his A-levels at Alder Grange’s new Sixth Form centre, said: “I wasn’t expecting to do this well.

“I lost everything when our house burnt down.”

The family moved to a rented house after their Rawtenstall home, Laund Bank Farm, Cribden Hill, was razed.

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