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CLASS OF 2017: Jessica overcomes rare blood disorder to graduate from DMU

Working tirelessly on her dissertation while in hospital is just one example of Jessica Beasley’s fierce commitment to graduating from De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) today.

Jessica Beasley_inset

The dedicated English Language and Creative Writing (Joint Honours) graduate spent much of her last two years at DMU in and out of hospital due to a rare blood disorder and autoimmune disease.

It has caused Jessica severe skin allergies and serious deep vein thrombosis (DVT), resulting in six long hospital stays, and at its worst, three operations in three days to remove blood clots from Jessica’s legs and lungs.

The 22-year-old from Hucknall, Nottingham said: “It was bad enough when I was really ill last April and realised I wouldn’t be graduating with my peers, but when I went into hospital again in August I was devastated.

“I was so determined to graduate this year that I kicked up a fuss in hospital until the nurses let me work in their office for an hour each night while they were serving dinner.”

Jessica praised her tutors for their ongoing support, saying: “I wouldn’t have passed my second year without the help of my tutors, let alone graduate. I owe them so much.

“All four of them – Kathy Bell, Simon Perril, Niki Valentine and Keith Scott – went out of their way to support me. They responded to emails quickly, visited me in hospital and extended my deadlines, sometimes giving themselves just hours to mark and send off my work.

Her hard-earned 2:1 has enabled Jessica to pursue a Creative Writing master’s in Nottingham while working part-time as a content writer at a marketing agency.

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Once she finishes her MA in December, Jessica hopes to start a PhD in 2018 so she can finally fulfil her ambition of becoming a university lecturer in Creative Writing.

“I’ve always wanted to teach, but having such excellent role models at DMU has made me even more driven to make a positive difference to students’ lives,” she said.

Jessica thoroughly enjoyed her course, saying: “You get to write about what you love, and as a lifelong Nottingham Forest fan, extending my football passion into my dissertation was brilliant.

“I was inspired by Nick Hornby’s Fever Pitch, so I decided to explore the stresses of being a football fan, as well as the heart-warming ways that football can bring people together despite their different backgrounds.”

As a Brand Ambassador for her course, Jessica enjoyed sharing her enthusiasm with prospective students during DMU Open Days.

She said: “DMU is really great. It’s like a town within a city with a real community feel to the campus.

“For me, coming to an Open Day is what made me chose DMU, so I wanted to leave them feeling the same way.”

Although Jessica’s condition is currently being monitored at hospital twice a week, she takes this in her stride and doesn’t let it interfere with her education.

“I have a very practical approach to life and try to just get on with it,” she said. “I’ve always loved learning, so if I’m not learning I’m not really me.”

Posted on Thursday 26th January 2017

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