A DETERMINED pupil who missed more than six months of school after undergoing open heart surgery celebrated after gaining an impressive set off GCSE results.
Haughton Academy pupil Chloe Ireland, 16, of Darlington, was treated for congenitally corrected transposition, just two years before completing her GCSE exams which saw her achieve one grade 9, two grade 8s, three grade 7s, a distinction star, plus a host of other high GCSE grades.
The rare condition, in which the heart’s lower half is reversed, saw Chloe undergo a complex Fontan Operation at The Freeman Hospital, Newcastle, to help improve her oxygen levels by redirecting blood directly to her lungs.
At the same time she was also fitted with a pacemaker and had repairs made to a hole between her ventricles and a narrowed artery.
“Basically my pumps were round the wrong way,” said Chloe. “I was diagnosed just after I was born and was constantly monitored by cardiologists at the Freeman Hospital while I was growing up.
“As I got older I found it more and more difficult to get my breath so in 2017 the decision was made to for me to have open heart surgery to correct the defect.”
Despite missing more than six months of her GCSE mock examination year following her operation and rehabilitation, Chloe continued to study with help from Haughton Academy teachers and the Darlington Home School Support.
“My recovery was very gradual and I was really nervous about going back to school but the staff were really great and gave me loads of help,” she said.
“I worked really hard for my exams, even to the point of my teachers telling me to slow down a bit, but I was determined to do well and I couldn’t be happier with my results.”
Chloe is now hoping to study law, psychology and economics at A-level with a view to pursuing a career in law.
Year 10 Haughton Academy pupil Ewan Page celebrated alongside his Year 11 sister Annalise as they both picked up top marks in their GCSE English Literature.
Ewan 15, of Darlington, who was entered in the academy’s early entry literature exam, scored an impressive 158 out of 160 marks giving him a grade 9 one year early.
Sister Annalise Page, 16, also achieved an outstanding set of results including six grade 9s, two grade 8s, one distinction and one distinction star.
Pupil Adam Biernat, 16, who arrived in the UK from Poland age 11 speaking no English, was rewarded for his hard work with an impressive six grade 9s, two distinction stars, one distinction and other high grades.
Top achievers at Haughton Academy included Ellie McTimoney, with seven grade 9s, three grade 8s and two distinctions, Annalise Page, six grade 9s, two grade 8s, one distinction star and one distinction, Aidan Foster, four grade 9s, two grade 8s, one distinction star and one distinction, Lyla Kaddoura one grade 9, four grade 8s and one distinction, and Chloe Ireland one grade 9, two grade 8s and a distinction star.
The academy saw a 10 per cent increase from 2018 in maths and English at 4+ to 65 per cent, an increase at 5+ to 34 per cent and an 8 per cent increase in the English Baccalaureate (English language, literature, maths, sciences, geography or history and a language) to 17 per cent.
The traditional measure of 5+ A star to C grades including English and maths saw a huge increase to 61.4 per cent the highest ever for Haughton Academy.
Principal Jonathan Lumb said: “We have had a good set of performance outcomes this year which shows an improving three year trend across all of our measures.
“I am very proud of the continuing improvement at Haughton Academy. These results are testimony to the hard work of the pupils and the high quality teaching that we now have in place.
“We are so proud of all our pupils’ achievements and wish them all the best for the future.”