Photo gallery: Courageous student receives UEA degree after fighting back from burn injuries

Chloe Payne from Bunwell, who graduated at the UEA despite sustaining third degree burns to her face and neck in an accident causing life-threatening injuries.
Photo by Simon Finlay. Chloe Payne from Bunwell, who graduated at the UEA despite sustaining third degree burns to her face and neck in an accident causing life-threatening injuries. Photo by Simon Finlay.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014
7:00 AM

Graduation day is a celebration for all those involved, but Chloe Payne has more to celebrate than others.

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The UEA student, from Bunwell, near Attleborough, had an accident involving candles in the Christmas holidays of her first year and suffered third degree burns to her face and neck.

Despite what she has been through during her time at university, Chloe is graduating this week from the UEA with a 2:1 degree in Accounting with Management.

In the aftermath of the accident, she missed seven weeks of lectures, but she returned to the UEA to continue her studies.

She said: “I was scared I wouldn’t want to go back if I didn’t go back when I did. I’ve never been more glad that I did.”

As well as being among the 4,300 students graduating from the UEA this week, Chloe is the first member of her family to get a degree.

Her mother, Claire, said: “I knew she had it in her because she’s a fighter anyway.”

She described the day as “the proudest moment ever”.

Ms Payne already has a plan and is looking forward to starting a School Direct program in September, in the hope of becoming a maths teacher – something she has always wanted to do.

For her, graduation is a momentous occasion.

She said: “It’s such a personal achievement to be here. For the last few years, I’ve been the girl with the burns and now it’s time to look forward and show people who I really am.”

Others graduating this week include Stuart Tubby, who spent a year in California during his four-year Film and American Studies course at UEA, and had such a good experience after joining a fraternity that he wrote a script about it, which was snapped up by Hollywood.

Also graduating is economics student Lewis Robinson, who achieved the highest score in Europe, Middle East and Africa, and third worldwide when he took part in the Bloomberg Aptitude Test (BAT) – a global, standardised online exam.

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