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Meet the inspiring Lowestoft student who beat a string of serious illnesses and completed his degree

PUBLISHED: 14:01 30 October 2018 | UPDATED: 09:05 31 October 2018

In a speech to his graduating year, Mr Nessbit said: “Graduating is something I’ve been thinking about for a long time. Picture: Contributed

In a speech to his graduating year, Mr Nessbit said: “Graduating is something I’ve been thinking about for a long time. Picture: Contributed

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Robert Nessbit, 23, from Lowestoft was told he would never be able to sit his GCSEs.

Robert Nessbit, 23, (pictured) from Lowestoft was told he would never be able to sit his GCSEs. Picture: ContributedRobert Nessbit, 23, (pictured) from Lowestoft was told he would never be able to sit his GCSEs. Picture: Contributed

A student has defied medical barriers by overcoming brain surgery, meningitis and hearing loss in three years to complete his degree.

Robert Nessbit, from Lowestoft was told he would never be able to sit his GCSEs.

But now the 23-year-old, who is a swimming coach, has defied all odds to complete his Sports Coaching Science degree and has been handed the academic engagement award during the annual Easton and Otley College graduation ceremony.

Throughout his time at the college, Mr Nessbit pushed himself to overcome medical illnesses which attempted to keep him from his studies.

Since 2015, Mr Nessbit endured moderate hearing loss, meningitis and a brain tumour - which doubled in size in the first year of his degree. Picture: ContributedSince 2015, Mr Nessbit endured moderate hearing loss, meningitis and a brain tumour - which doubled in size in the first year of his degree. Picture: Contributed

Since 2015, Mr Nessbit endured moderate hearing loss, meningitis and a brain tumour - which doubled in size in the first year of his degree.

For two weeks from a hospital bed and in excruciating pain, Mr Nessbit didn’t stop studying to ensure he wasn’t left behind his cohort despite the college allowing him the time to recover.

Mr Nessbit said “Meningitis was probably the worst, the enormity of the pain - I have never experienced anything like it.”

Despite the searing pain from the life-threatening disease, he persevered and continued to study.

“For me I just had to - I needed to get the work done,” he said.

Mr Nessbit, who is on the autistic spectrum and has dyslexia was told he wouldn’t be able to complete his A-levels or GCSEs from a young age.

“They didn’t want me to sit the exams because they didn’t think they could support my educational needs,” he said.

In a speech to his graduating year, Mr Nessbit said: “Graduating is something I’ve been thinking about for a long time.

“Ever since year nine when I was told by my local education authority that I wouldn’t even sit my GCSEs – so this for me is a turning point in proving people wrong,” he said.

Mr Nesbitt is now studying on a two year Masters Degree at The University of Stirling.

The Great Yarmouth Swimming Club coach said, “There is a pathway for everybody, it may not be the traditional or standard option.

“You have to go out there and make it happen for yourself,” he said.

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