Gifted Derby teen sits exams in hospital after fight for life | #students | #parents


A Derby teenager who won her fight for life in intensive care bravely managed to take her sixth-form exams while recovering in hospital.

Tejal Paliya, a 17-year-old student at Littleover Community School, contracted a bacterial infection which left her critically ill at the Royal Derby Hospital.

Tejal was first admitted to the Uttoxeter Road hospital on March 31, and later spent 12 days in the intensive care unit (ICU) as her condition rapidly deteriorated.

She gradually began to show signs of improvement, but had to learn to walk again during her recovery having been unable to move her hands and feet for two weeks.

Tejal said: “The nurses helped me to do everything. I was so scared when I woke up but I never felt like I was asking for too much from all of the staff.

“Recovery has been difficult but with the help of the physios and all of the other staff, I’ve been able to get where I am today.”

After she was transferred to Ward 305 to continue her recovery, Tejal’s attention began to turn to her love of education.

Tejal, who has ambitions to study chemical engineering at Cambridge University, wanted to sit her final sixth form assessments a year early, having studied during lockdown.

After speaking with her teachers at Littleover Community School, plans were put in place for Tejal to take eight papers in maths, further maths, physics and chemistry, in a dedicated side room on the ward.

With A-level exams not formally taking place again this year due to the pandemic, the papers will be marked internally by the school, with class and homework assignments also used to help teachers determine her grades.

Tejal said: “During lockdown I needed something to do, so I asked my dad if he could get me the textbooks for A-level exams and he did. I sat and read all of them and looked through all of the past papers and thought that I could do the exams.

“I had a chat to my teachers about whether I should sit the exams, and they agreed so I went for it.

“When I started to feel well enough on the ward, I spoke to the school and they agreed that I could take my exams while I was here. The nurses have been so kind and have sat with me as invigilators while I sat the tests.

“As long as I didn’t look at my surroundings, it was no different to taking an exam at school.”

Tejal was given a guard of honour as she was discharged from the Royal Derby Hospital

Eight exams and 51 days after her admission, Tejal was given a guard of honour as she was discharged home to continue her recovery with her mum, dad and younger sister. However, she has already set her sights firmly on getting back into the classroom.

She said: “The one thing I’m most looking forward to is going back to school! Of course I have missed being at home, but I have made friends for life here so I’m going to miss everyone and the routine I’ve got on the ward.

A police constable using a ram to batter down the door to the property

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A police constable using a ram to batter down the door to the property
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“I am just so touched by everyone’s kindness and I want to say thank you to everyone.”

Maggie Kumari, senior sister on Ward 305, said: “Every so often, we meet someone extraordinary through our work. Tejal has been inspirational to the team on the ward with her positive attitude and motivation to recover.

“We have been able to support her wish to undertake her A-level exams on the ward and it’s been a pleasure to meet someone so focused at such a young age. Her goal is to go to Cambridge University to study chemical engineering. There is no doubt she will achieve this.”





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