Jayne beats illness to make top grade
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’