Exam success despite mum’s death

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A BRAVE student battled through the tragic loss of her mum just weeks before she was due to sit her GCSEs.

Courageous Kate Lawson’s mum Lisa died in hospital in April after suffering a severe asthma attack. She was just 44.

Manor College of Technology pupil Kate Lawson with her GCSE exam results. Picture by Frank Reid

Manor College of Technology pupil Kate Lawson with her GCSE exam results. Picture by Frank Reid

Lisa, a nurse whose maiden name was Ashley, had been helping her daughter to prepare for her GCSEs before suddenly taking ill.

Medics tried desperately to save her during an emergency operation to fit a tracheostomy, a tube to help breathing.

But Lisa, who suffered from brittle asthma, which leads to unpredictable attacks, sadly lost her fight for life on April 23.

Kate, a student at Manor College of Technology, in Owton Manor Lane, Hartlepool, where she is also head girl, said: “It was a shock.

“Mum was really good - she helped me get prepared for all my exams.”

The tragedy led to Kate having to take around three weeks off school and she returned on May 13, shortly before her GCSEs started.

But yesterday, she picked up a glowing set of results including five A*s, in chemistry, biology, physics, food technology and history, six As in geography, English language, English literature, Information Communications Technology (ICT), statistics and maths, a B in German and a C in Latin.

Kate, who lives with dad James, a 51-year-old NHS worker, on the Fens estate, admitted: “It wasn’t easy.

“It happened just before the exams, so I stopped doing lots of work and couldn’t focus.

“I missed quite a bit of school but thanks to my headteacher and my dad I got by.

“I think my mum would be quite proud.

“All my friends helped me, and the teachers were really good.”

The 16-year-old former Fens Primary School pupil now plans to go to Hartlepool Sixth Form College to study A-Levels in biology, chemistry, physics and geography.

Remarkably, she wants to follow in her mother’s medical footsteps, and become a doctor.

“I want to be able to make people better,” said Kate.

“All mum’s doctors were really good I would like to do the same for other people.”

Mr Lawson said: “I’m really, really pleased, she has done really well and I’m really pleased with the support from the school.

“It’s the first step on a journey for her and we are over the moon.

“It hasn’t been easy, but she got on with life really.”

Headteacher Anne Malcolm said: “Kate is an exceptional young woman and we are very, very proud of her.

“Kate has been head girl, it’s been my first year in headship and without her it wouldn’t have been quite as smooth.”