AN A level student who is battling a debilitating condition has secured an apprenticeship with the organisation that has given him a new lease of life.
Daniel Wright achieved a BTEC triple merit in engineering and ICT at Bede Academy, in Blyth, despite undergoing a hip replacement operation during his final exams.
Now the 18-year-old, who was diagnosed at the age of seven with rheumatoid arthritis, is set to become an ICT apprentice with the NHS.
“I was constantly in pain and walking with a limp,” said Daniel, of Blyth.
“I was told that my hip bone was dangerously close to breaking through into my pelvis so I had to have the operation as soon as possible which meant finishing school early. The change has been incredible, as well as replacing my hip joint NHS surgeons also lengthened my leg and now my mobility is so much better.”
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that targets the joints, causing inflammation and pain which can spread and lead to the bone and cartilage breaking down.
As well as having the condition in his hips, knees, left ankle, elbow and right shoulder the disease has also recently spread to Daniel’s upper jaw.
“I missed a lot of school with being in hospital and I constantly had to catch up with my work but with the help and support of the teachers at Bede I’m really proud of what I’ve achieved,” said Daniel.
Head teacher Gwyneth Evans paid tribute to Daniel for his determination and perseverance to get through the tough academic year.
“I’m absolutely delighted for him,” said Ms Evans.
“Daniel’s operation came at a critical point at the end of his course but he still managed to meet all of his deadlines and was an extremely diligent and conscientious student. He never once complained about his illness, despite being in constant pain, and he has the admiration of all the staff and students here at Bede.”
Daniel was one of dozens of students at Bede Academy celebrating another positive year for results.
Making an art form out of her A levels was student Hannah Absalom, who achieved four A*s and has been offered a place at the Glasgow School of Art.
Fellow artists Danni Carr, Eleanor Hall, Krysta Hudspeth and Phoebe Rogerson will join her in studying fine art at Northumbria, Newcastle and Sunderland Universities.
“This has been such a positive, mature year group who have been real ambassadors for the academy,” added Ms Evans.
“Each and every one of them showed the attitude, diligence and determination to be successful. Their drive to succeed and they way that they worked with their tutors to achieve the highest outcomes possible has been remarkable.”