Staff and children at Oswestry’s Hope House Children’s Hospice have been helping an inspirational young man to celebrate graduating from college while coping with a life-threatening condition.
21-year-old Adam Mazan from Market Drayton studied for three years at Shrewsbury Colleges Group to graduate with an HND in Computing, Game Design and Development.
Completing the course was a huge achievement for Adam, who has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and uses a wheelchair to get around.
Adam has been visiting Hope House for respite care since he was three years old – and staff there have been thrilled to see him succeed in his dreams of going to college.
Adam’s graduation photo has been given pride of place on the wall of the Young Adults Lounge, where it is inspiring other children and families who visit.
Says Adam: “It wasn’t easy because I was in constant pain sometimes but Shrewsbury College were great and worked with me to make it possible for me to attend.
“They arranged for me to have a support worker and if I wasn’t in hospital or ill I was there every day. I made a lot of good friends and we had a laugh as well as learning loads.”
Adam’s three proud sisters accompanied him on his Graduation Day where he joined the procession from The Square in Shrewsbury up to St Chad’s.
“I had a dress shirt on and a cap and a gown that had to be specially cut to fit around my wheelchair. They all did the Graduation Procession walk and I did the roll,” he laughs.
“I was sitting with my friends when it was announced that I had won the Higher Education Student of the Year which was voted for by all the tutors. I was given a trophy to keep and my support worker was given a bouquet of flowers. It was a really special day.”
Adam says he would have liked to go on to study as university, but funding difficulties have sadly made that unlikely. Never one to give up, he and his friends are instead planning to design their own video games together.
“I like playing games because I don’t get out much and it does take my mind off being disabled and things I can’t do,” adds Adam. “But I can’t thank everyone who helped me to get to college and to complete my course enough.”
Rachel Taylor is the Transition Nurse at Hope House, who supports young people like Adam as they move into adult services and have changing aspirations and goals.
She says: “Adam is a true inspiration and admired by all the staff at Hope House for his determination to succeed and his really cheeky sense of humour. He really deserves his qualification and his award and we are all so proud of what he has achieved.”