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The Jewish Chronicle - - NEWS -

OLIVER SAPIER’S mother de­scribes him as a “fighter” – a mod­est ap­praisal, given his story of tri­umph.

Born with a chronic bowel con­di­tion, the 16-year-old spent the first years of his life in hos­pi­tal, where doc­tors were not sure he would live be­yond his sec­ond birth­day.

But he fought back, and last week proved his “mind-over-mat­ter” ap­proach had paid off when he at­tained three A*s, six As and two Bs in his GCSEs. Re­mark­ably, Oliver, a pupil at the Gram­mar School of Leeds (GSAL), did it all with­out us­ing a pen. Af­ter break­ing his hand a week be­fore his ex­ams, he dic­tated ev­ery an­swer to an ex­ter­nal ex­am­iner.

“The most dif­fi­cult part was having to say all the punc­tu­a­tion marks, like full stops and com­mas,” he said.

He said his high marks came as a sur­prise, de­spite the fact that he worked hard and vir­tu­ally gave up his so­cial life for six months. Grow­ing up in Alwoodley, Leeds, his tem­per­a­men­tal health meant he missed large pe­ri­ods of time from school. This, cou­pled with the fact that he is fed overnight five times a week via a tube, meant aca­demic suc­cess was not a high pri­or­ity.

“I was of­ten tired and

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