A TEENAGER whose illness restricted her to a diet of ice lollies was among Wirral’s A level success stories.
On the first day of sixth form at Upton Hall school for girls, Gina Kirby, 18, from Raby Mere, was taken ill and later diagnosed with Crohn’s disease.
It saw her put on a special “milk” feed which meant she had to be fed through a tube attached to her nose for six weeks.
After a week in Alder Hey hospital, she went back to school, but due to poor digestion was unable to eat anything other than ice lollies.
Eventually, she was taken in for surgery to remove a section of her bowel in December 2010.
The determined teen received two As and an A* in her A-levels will now continue her studies at Manchester University. She hopes to become an architect like her dad and brother.
Gina, who still has to watch her diet, said: “I did not want anything to get in my way and just want to try as hard as I can.
“It was a bit weird eating ice lollies all the time – I did it for eight weeks and it was winter.”
Fiona Williams, who was diagnosed with energy-sapping chronic fatigue syndrome at the age of 12, also delivered a lesson in perseverance.
The 20-year-old from Wallasey Village embarked on her A-levels with help from tutors at Birkenhead Sixth Form College.
Due to her condition, she could only manage 4½ hours of study each week.
She completed English literature and general studies A- levels in the first two years before embarking on a two-year history A-level – a subject she will now continue at degree level at Chester University after bagging an A*.
She said: “I never felt like giving up.”
Other high-flyers included Jack Lewis, 18, from Upton, received A* grades in French and Geography, two As in Spanish and Language Dissertation and a B in Physics – and will be the first pupil from Pensby High School for Boys to go to Cambridge.
He will study Spanish, French and Portuguese and is hoping for a career at the European Union or United Nations.
He said: “I was nervous beforehand but when I saw my results I was over the moon. I was quite overwhelmed.
“Cambridge is going to be a total change from everything I’m used to. I’ve got a list of 12 books to read before I go but I’m excited about starting.”