Girl Who Cared for Sick Father Wins Place to Study Medicine

The Evening Standard (London, England), August 15, 2013 | Go to article overview

Girl Who Cared for Sick Father Wins Place to Study Medicine


Byline: Mark Blunden and Lindsay Watling

A PUPIL who juggled studying for four A-levels while looking after her sick father and volunteering in a local care home is set to fulfil her dream of becoming a doctor.

Umamah Tarvala, 18, from Hackney achieved two A* grades in biology and chemistry, an A in economics and a B in mathematics. She had a place to study biomedical sciences at UCL, but her results beat expectations and she can study medicine instead.

One of only two Stoke Newington School & Sixth Form students to do four A-levels, she said years of helping her mother, Najma, 42, care for her father, Faizal, 40, who suffers epileptic seizures, inspired her "to give something back to society".

She said: "I come from a poor family where my mother and father can't work. My father's condition inspired me to look into the complexity of the human body and the difference doctors make to human life. I want to care for the residents of our society." Fellow Stoke Newington School pupil Udo Osuji, 18, said he was going straight to an interview with a leading computer firm after getting two B grades and a C, including maths, to do a software engineering apprenticeship.

"It means I can get a degree while being paid," he said. "My salary will start at [pounds sterling]18,000 but I'll be educated while I'm there, so it means I get the best of both worlds." More than 80 per cent of A-level students at the school achieved C grades or above. Meanwhile, Karian Annon, 18, from Croydon, a sixth-former at Harris Academy in Crystal Palace, will study medicine at Manchester University after getting an A* in psychology and A grades in biology and chemistry. …

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