After an assault that left her with brain damage, Londonderry Queen’s student Stephanie Burton didn’t dare to dream she would be graduating with first class honours in nursing two years later.
Stephanie was on holiday in Spain in 2015 when she was attacked on a night out. Upon returning to Belfast, she carried on as normal putting her migraines and tiredness down to exam stress.
Noticing that Stephanie wasn’t her usual self, falling asleep in lectures and being forgetful, her lecturer Maggie Bennett advised Stephanie to consult a doctor.
Stephanie was soon transferred to hospital for an MRI scan which revealed she had suffered a head injury as a result of the assault.
Stephanie said: “I was shocked when I was told I needed to attend brain injury rehabilitation. I would’ve carried on as normal if Maggie hadn’t suggested I visit a doctor.”
At first Stephanie struggled with the diagnosis, overwhelmed by the journey of recovery that lay ahead.
After a gruelling six months spent between various hospital and rehabilitation appointments, Stephanie was finally ready to get her life back on track.
Upon returning to Queen’s, Stephanie said: “It was a lot easier than I thought thanks to the support I received from fellow students and staff.
“The disability services and nursing staff helped me massively.
“It is thanks to this support that I am now graduating with first class honours.
“I am delighted to now be working Altnagelvin Hospital where I strive to give the same support to my patients that I have received. I hope to return to Queen’s to do a Masters in Advanced Professional Practice.”