Video: “She is an exceptional kid” - student collects top A-Level results despite serious illness and a major car accident
12:46 15 August 2014
Copyright Archant Norfolk 2014
She has battled back from serious illness as well as a major car accident, but Sophie Allinson is living proof that you should never give up.
Yesterday, the 19 year old reaped the rewards of her determination as she picked up her long-awaited exam results envelope from City of Norwich School.
It’s a day that it once looked like Sophie might never see, after she came close to abandoning all hope of ever finishing sixth form.
Struck down, first by a mystery flu-type condition which left her struggling at school, and then serious kidney infections which kept her home for months on end, she was advised by doctors to drop out of classes altogether.
But even as she battled on with her conditions - and her studies - she faced a further setback when she rolled her car over. So yesterday’s results reflected a determined will to succeed.
Looking back, she said: “In my first year I was completely in the wrong frame of mind and then I was quite ill with an ongoing flu for a couple of months.
“I found it hard to get back in the swing and I didn’t do very well in that year, so I decided to retake it.”
Sophie’s second year went much better and she got A and B grades for her AS levels.
But going back to complete her third and final year, her health took a turn for the worse again.
She said: “I went into this year and everything was going fine, then I got bad ongoing kidney infections and had to have four months off.
“Probably on average I was present for 30pc of the last year. I eased myself back into it - it was mind over matter. I knew I could either not do it at all, or really do it. So I started doing it.”
When she was well enough to go back into school, Sophie found she couldn’t handle the long days. Despite doctors advising her to drop out, she continued to go in for as long as she could handle, and then worked in the evenings at home.
She praised her teachers for sending her work and being so understanding, and yesterday, they spoke of their admiration for her.
Sixth form coordinator Karen Treby said: “Sophie truly shows how hard work and determination can lead to exceptional results.
“We are extremely proud of Sophie and wish her every success in the next stage of her academic journey.”
As if she hadn’t had enough to cope with, she was then involved in a car accident just after Easter. Although she survived without major injuries, she was shaken by the incident.
She said: “I presume my tyre blew out or I hit a kerb or something. I was going about 60 and just rolled down a hill and it was quite traumatic.”
Despite all of this, Sophie - who lives on The Street in Rockland St Mary - yesterday learned she had achieved A grades in English and History as well as a B grade in Food Technology - enough to get to her university of choice: Sheffield.
Mum Heather, who is a full-time carer for Sophie’s younger sister Lucy said she was the kind of girl who is not fazed by anything.
She said: “We’re very, very proud of her. She’s also a young carer for Lucy, who is profoundly disabled with complex health needs and she’s very involved with her care.
“She’s been seriously ill and written off her car but also balanced that with some quite tricky situations at home. She is an exceptional kid.”