Sam’s day started with an alarm at 5am which gave her time to make the 6.20am train. Her mother would care for her son at her home before Sam’s return at 9pm. If she was lucky, her son would still be awake for her to tuck him into bed.
Sam had to take time off from her studies and failed exams when her son fell ill with measles, chicken pox and mumps, all in the first year, but, she said, the university allowed her to re-take.
Sam said she couldn’t have coped without support from the university and her parents: “The support I've had from my mum and dad has been out of this world. Financially, I've struggled but the university has helped me with hardship funds – I can’t thank them enough.
“They also provided mentors and coaching sessions to help me with my dyslexia, plus extra time for my written work.
“I was brought to tears when I was told I had a 2.2. I can't explain the happiness I felt on that day.
“No one in my family is in health care and no one has had a university education – and I wanted to change that.
“I feel so lucky that I got this chance and that I received such wonderful support. I hope one day I can help train other students if they ever want to go into podiatry – it’s such an important issue. It’s the first line in helping to prevent amputations especially among patients with diabetes.”
Sam added: “I can't thank Simon Otter (Principal Lecturer in the School of Health Sciences) and his amazing team enough for all their help and support.
“And if anyone is looking to study at a university where you want a voice and need support, then choose Brighton.”