GCSE results: Zoe fights ME to make grade

Zoe Fabian with her mother Iona

Zoe Fabian with her mother Iona Buy this photo

First published in News by , Witney Reporter

A GIRL who missed the last six months of school ahead of her exams, due to the chronic fatigue condition ME, did not let it stop her passing her GCSEs.

Zoe Fabian, 16, from Aston, a pupil at Witney’s Wood Green School, got two As, three Bs, two Cs and an E at Witney’s Wood Green School.

She missed half of her schooling in the past four years and took the exams at home.

She plans to study for maths, chemistry, physics and drama A-Levels at Eynsham’s Bartholomew School.

She said: “Teaching yourself is pretty hard and it definitely took a lot longer than I thought.

“Occasionally, I would ask my friends to ask the teachers specific questions, but not being able to see people makes life a lot more difficult, because you’re on your own.”

Speaking about her condition, she said: “It affected me quite a lot. Most days I won’t leave the house at all.”

Zoe, who wants to work in engineering, was unable to attend school for a full day after December, so teachers sent work to her home.

Invigilators visited her home so she could sit her exams.

Her mother Iona, a freelance film-maker, said: “Her determination saw her through. Sometimes she would go into school when she could and tutors would come to her for one-to-one sessions.

“We didn’t have any private tutors, so there was a lot of independent learning.

It’s mostly exhaustion which she suffers from. She sleeps an awful lot and gets a lot of stomach pain and backaches.

“A few weeks before the exams, I didn’t think she would be able to sit any of them at all.

"It was a monumental effort that she could even sit up in a chair for that long, so I’m very proud.”

Wood Green’s director of learning communities, Mark Bonsell, said: “This is a great example of how schools can work with students and parents to enable the young person to overcome adversity and, in Zoe’s case, achieve very good results.”

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