By Jill Dando News
Aisha Seedat graduated with a degree in Health studies from De Montfort University in Leicester.
The ambitious student did not let the MPS IVA Morquio condition and its related health complications stop her from completing her journey.
She overcame fear and spells hospitalised with illnesses during A Levels and her first year of university to graduate with flying colours.
She said: “I have a lot of faith and belief in myself which helped me to get into my dream university, studying what I wanted from the start.
“Prior to starting university, I already had a lot of fears. During my A-levels I fell quite ill and spent a lot of the time in hospital so had little hope that I would be able to go to university.
“I always said to myself that I would never let my disability keep me down so why should I now? I have a lot of faith and belief in myself which helped me to get into my dream university, studying what I wanted from the start.”
But Aisha’s journey was hit hard at the end of the first year when she felt very ill and was admitted to ICU.
She said: “I was being told I may not make it as I had an abscess close to my trachea and any surgery could be fatal for me.
“It was quite daunting for me thinking that I had got through this far and I did not want to give up yet another dream on my bucket list. Though I was discharged it took me a while to recover.
“The university I was at were quite understanding and advised that I should extend some modules so I can hand in my assignments late or defer the whole year and restart when I felt better. I went with the decision to extend as I needed to focus on getting better.
“I also had hospital visits to Leicester, Manchester and Cambridge throughout my course but as I have been going up and down for most of my life it was quite manageable, and the next day I was always back in lectures.”
Aisha is now encouraging others to go for their dreams and apply for university.
She said: “Remember, this is your journey to becoming independent. Before applying make sure you are open about the support you need otherwise you will struggle.
“All universities have something called a DSA, Disabled Students’ Allowance, but you’ll need to be assessed. Disabled Students’ Allowances can provide additional support and funding to UK students in higher and further education.
“It is extra funding designed to ensure a level playing field for disabled students and can be used to pay for specialist software, computer hardware and a range of study support and extra resources.”
“You will face challenges but remember the university are there to support you in lots of ways. Universities are now more accepting of our needs and the people and friends surrounding us are far more welcoming.
“My motto is, ‘if I can do it, so can you’, so I believe you can aim high with the degree that you choose. And think wisely with the subject you chose to study as this will be a stepping stone for your future.
“You will face challenges but remember the university are there to support you in lots of ways.
“I never let my disability keep me from achieving what I want in life, like the degree in my hand, which is a huge milestone for me. As I said, if I can do it, so can you!
The MPS Society supports families affected by rare life limiting genetic conditions. It is the charity of the year for The Priory Learning Trust in Somerset.
For more on the charity see https://www.mpssociety.org.uk