Family & Education

Three months in hospital is no barrier to success as Ryan notches up A*s and As


For any GCSE pupil, achieving four A*s (including an A* with distinction), six As and a B is no mean feat. But to do so having missed three months of school is almost unthinkable.

Not if you ask Ryan Grossman, a year 11 student at King David High School in Manchester, who sat his exams in June after spending three months in hospital from December to March of this year.

The 16-year-old from Whitefield, who suffers from the neuromuscular disorder nemaline rod myopathy, collected his top marks on Thursday alongside family, friends - and footballer Gary Neville, who became close to the teenager after visiting him in hospital.

"A lot of kids would have probably postponed taking their exams until next year," said his mother, Michelle Grossman. "But Ryan was determined. He sat his mock GCSEs while in hospital, and was back at school two days after he came home.

"He also had to teach himself a lot of the syllabus, because most of the work he missed while in hospital was new material."

Ms Grossman explained that Ryan had been hospitalised to rectify a curve in his spine, meaning he had been forced to sit upright 24 hours a day, wearing a halo traction apparatus to keep his head held in place.

"It was very painful," she said. "And unfortunately, the procedure didn't work. So he also had to deal with that."

Not to be deterred, Ryan pooled all his motivation into his studies, and is now looking forward to returning to King David in September, where he will begin his A Level courses in maths, further maths, biology, chemistry and physics.

He then hopes to go to medical school.

"The inspiration he gives is incredible," said Ms Grossman, whose family belongs to Heaton Park Hebrew Congregation. "He has had so many opportunities to give up on life, but he never has. It is him that keeps us going."

King David High's chairman of governors Joshua Rowe echoed his delight for Ryan, describing him as "an outstanding student" and "our hero".

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