Twins overcome health issues with astonishing A-level success in Havant

Natalie and Lorna Hibberd at Havant Sixth Form College
Natalie and Lorna Hibberd at Havant Sixth Form College

Portsmouth university study looks at depression and the past

  • Prematurely born sisters share 4 A*s on results day
  • Gosport teenager overcomes brain tumour and sees successful re-sits
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STUDYING for A-levels is a stressful enough period for anyone – but three fighting students didn’t let serious illnesses stop them from scoring a collection of top results.

Twin sisters Natalie and Lorna Hibberd overcame their disabilities to achieve an astonishing four A*s and three As between them.

Meanwhile, brave Fareham teenager Sam John, who underwent surgery on a brain tumour in Florida, was overwhelmed to achieve a B and two Cs.

Natalie and Lorna, 17, were born 10 weeks prematurely and have faced severe health problems as a result.

Wheelchair user Natalie achieved an A* in communications and cultural studies and two As in English language and English literature at Havant Sixth Form College.

She said: ‘I’m still in a bit of shock but I’m really pleased.

Sam John, at Bay House School in Gosport, was delighted that he got a place to study history at Swansea University 

Picture: Will Rooney

Sam John, at Bay House School in Gosport, was delighted that he got a place to study history at Swansea University Picture: Will Rooney

‘I’ve not been in the best of health over the past couple of years, so I was just really happy when I got to the end of the course and was like “Yay, I survived”.

‘I stick at things, I don’t usually back out of things, and I’m very happy that I’ve proved that I could do it.’

Natalie’s sister Lorna, who studied at South Downs College in Waterlooville, achieved three A*s in law, sociology and the extended project, and an A in ancient history.

She is looking forward to studying social sciences at Durham University.

She said: ‘I didn’t think I’d do this well, but I’m very happy. I considered doing law, but with social sciences it felt more like an open experience.’

As an aspiring novelist, Natalie has been writing her own thriller series.

She said: ‘It’s such a full-time job trying to get something published so I had to put it on the back burner.

‘Now I’ve done college and got my grades, I can concentrate really hard.’

Mum Carol, of Petersfield, said: ‘I’m so proud of them, both individually and together.’

At Bay House Sixth Form in Gosport, 19-year-old Sam gained a B in history and two Cs in psychology and English literature, having re-sat his AS-levels due to illness. He is now set to study history at Swansea University.

He said: ‘I’ve worked really hard for my grades and I’ve had great support from all my teachers.

‘I’m delighted I decided to re-sit my first year and with my results today.

‘I’m really looking forward to the challenge ahead.’