SIX years ago Hartlepool youngster Michael Harrison was airlifted to hospital with serious injuries after being hurt in a horror bus smash outside his school.
But today, the 18-year-old English Martyrs School and Sixth Form College pupil is flying high after achieving the grades which secured him a place at prestigious Cambridge University.
Michael, who lives in the Park Road area of Hartlepool, received three A*s in maths, further maths and computing, an A in physics and a B in chemistry and will study computer science at Cambridge’s Gonville and Caius College.
He said: “It seems like a long time since the accident, but I can’t really remember much about it.
“I don’t think about it now to be honest, I’ve just focused on trying to do well in my exams. It was a surprise when I got these grades and I’m really happy with them.
“I’m looking forward to starting university and hopefully one day I’ll do something with computers, although I’m not entirely sure what as yet. I don’t know where I’ll end up!”
Michael was hurt in the smash after becoming trapped under the wheels of the 33-seater school bus which ploughed into a group of children on their way home from Martyrs on July 11, 2007.
Ages just 12 at the time, he was left with a metal plate inserted into his skull and a fractured pelvis.
He put the nightmare behind him though and was one of the stars of the college, alongside fellow student Vikram Rajasekar, from Bishop Cuthbert in Hartlepool.
Vikram is hoping to become the fourth doctor in his family after securing a place at Liverpool University to study medicine with his hatrick of A*s and an A.
The 18-year-old, whose mum is a clinical pathologist, dad an anaesthetist and whose brother is currently studying to become a medic, got A*s in biology, chemistry and maths and an A in physics. The talented teen said: “If I become a doctor I’ll be the fourth in my family. I know it sounds cheesy but ever since I was a kid all I’ve wanted to do is medicine.”
Classmate Sanya Kurmani, 18, from Naisberry Park, is to follow the same medicinal route but at Oxford University after receiving a clutch of excellent grades – an A in biology, an A in chemistry and an A* in french.
Imogen Crook, 18, from Greatham Village, Hartlepool, studied history, French and biology A-levels at English Martyrs and received an A* and two As respectively.
She was delighted with her results which has bagged her a place at Leeds University to study psychology.
Imogen said: “I was really nervous this morning, I couldn’t eat or sleep! When I finally found out my results I couldn’t believe it, I wanted someone to check for me that they were right.”
Eighteen-year-old Eve Paylor, from Bishop Cuthbert, in Hartlepool, got an A in maths, an A in physics, a B in history and a B in critical thinking.
“I’ve got a place at Newcastle University to study mechanical engineering,” the 18-year-old said. “I’m so happy, it was awful waiting, it’s just horrible until you know.
“It’s been incredibly hard work for about three months with non-stop revising. Now it feels like the two years since I started my A-levels are actually worth something and that I’ve really achieved something.”
Rebecca Hodgson, from West View, in Hartlepool, got two As and a B in geography, law and biology, respectively, and is off to Durham University to study law, in the hope that one day she will achieve her dream of becoming a barrister.
Eighteen-year-old Chloe Joyce, from the West Park area of Hartlepool, studied English, psychology and law at English Martyrs and has gained a place at Newcastle University reading English, with hopes of a career in journalism.
Thomas Connor, 18, from King Oswy, was celebrating a triple B success in his history, geography and psychology and is set for Durham University to study politics.