Jayne beats ill­ness to make top grade

Accrington Observer - - NEWS -

JON MACPHER­SON

AN in­spi­ra­tional woman who over­came chronic med­i­cal prob­lems to achieve first class de­gree hon­ours and a dream job at the age of 45 has told fel­low strug­glers that it’s “never too late to learn”.

Jayne New­sham, from Oswaldtwistle, has suf­fered from the age of nine with in­flam­ma­tory bowel dis­ease caus­ing se­vere ab­dom­i­nal pain, di­ar­rhoea and weight loss.

The for­mer Rhy­d­dings Pupil would spend weeks on end in hos­pi­tal which af­fected her school stud­ies and grades and also forced her to give up a ca­reer in nurs­ing.

How­ever at the age of 42, and not long af­ter hav­ing her bowel re­moved, Jayne said ‘ enough was enough’ and de­cided to re­turn to uni­ver­sity to pur­sue a ca­reer as a school fam­ily sup­port worker.

Jayne grad­u­ated this sum­mer from UCLan with first class hon­ours in chil­dren, schools and fam­i­lies and was also ‘gob­s­macked’ to re­ceive an ‘out­stand­ing achieve­ment ward’.

Jayne told the Ob­server: “At pri­mary school [the dis­ease] didn’t af­fect my ed­u­ca­tion that much but when I got to sec­ondary school I was miss­ing weeks and weeks some­times. I think I was in hos­pi­tal more than at home.

“I didn’t do bad at school but I didn’t get my GCSEs in maths and sci­ence. I started nurs­ing but then had to give that up be­cause of ill­ness. I couldn’t com­plete the course. I was ab­so­lutely dev­as­tated af­ter that be­cause that was all I ever wanted to be.”

Jayne, who pre­vi­ously worked as a teach­ing as­sis­tant at St An­drews pri­mary school in Oswaldtwistle, now works at Rish­ton Methodist School help­ing chil­dren with ed­u­ca­tional and so­cial prob­lems.

She said: “I never thought I would find a job that I loved but I have and I ab­so­lutely love it.

“The course was hard but very re­ward­ing. So many peo­ple with chronic ill­nesses think it’s the end of the road but it’s not nec­es­sar­ily so.

“I have a per­ma­nent ileostomy now as I had my colon re­moved in 2013. That gave me a new lease of life in a way.

“I still have my symp­toms ev­ery day and I’m still in chronic pain ev­ery day but it’s man­age­able more with an ileostomy.

“Some peo­ple are dev­as­tated when they find out they’ve got to have one but it’s not both­ered me. It’s made me re­alise you have to get on with it.

“It’s never too late to learn. No mat­ter what life throws at you have to get up and go.”

Jayne New­sham who over­came chronic med­i­cal prob­lems to achieve first class de­gree hon­ours and a dream job at the age of 45 says it’s ‘never too late to learn’

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