Purbrook student Emily Sutherland triumphs after overcoming health problems

Emily Sutherland, pictured with her niece Dottie Sutherland, is pleased with her results of and A and two Bs. ''Picture: Malcolm Wells (142363-7410)
Emily Sutherland, pictured with her niece Dottie Sutherland, is pleased with her results of and A and two Bs. ''Picture: Malcolm Wells (142363-7410)
Teachers and pupils at Penhale Infant School and Nursery in Fratton are overjoyed with their latest Ofsted
inspection Picture: Annie Lewis

School celebrates after being named ‘good’ once more

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YOUNG Emily Sutherland fought back tears as she achieved A-level success against all odds.

The 18-year-old achieved her dream and is on her way to becoming a lawyer despite a nightmare of health problems for herself and her mother, whom she cares for.

First Emily battled back from the brink as a schoolgirl after she was rushed to hospital with internal bleeding.

Then just 11 years old, she had to undergo a partial hysterectomy and was in and out of hospitals for months.

Then four years ago, she almost lost her mother Sharon Sutherland.

Sharon collapsed while they were on holiday in Lanzarote after suffering a major haemorrhage in both lungs.

The episode left Sharon in a wheelchair and it means Emily is constantly by her side, helping her mother with everyday tasks.

But Emily used the heartache to give her the drive to succeed.

Yesterday all those hours of studying and sleep deprivation paid off when she opened the envelope to find an A in law and two Bs in psychology and history.

Emily just couldn’t stop smiling.

‘It’s been a bit trying,’ said the teenager, of Byrd Close, Purbrook.

‘You think to yourself “that’s got to be it now”.

‘Between looking after my mum and studying, I didn’t really get time to do very much. Having been through everything and all the hard work I put in, this is fantastic.

‘The relief is unbelievable – just knowing that I made it. It’s the realisation that I am going to university and I’m growing up.’

First to congratulate Emily was her mum, who came along to the results day at South Downs College.

The 48-year-old, who was blinking back tears, said: ‘There’s times when she has been up all night with me. Then she just gets on with her coursework. She’s amazing. I am so very proud of her.’

Adding that she was inspired by her mum, Emily added: ‘She pushes me to be the best I can be.’

Emily will study law at Southampton University and will commute from home so she can still support her mum. She added: ‘Education is my escape basically – to be able to come to college and be in that learning environment.’