Radiography student celebrating after triumphing over adversity

Published: 23 November 2015 Ezine

A student from University Campus Suffolk is celebrating after recovering from a nearly fatal accident to graduate with a 2.1 in diagnostic radiography. 

David Gammell suffered a subdural haematoma in 2002 after falling from a container ship, an injury which required a series of five operations and six years recovery for him to regain the ability to walk and talk again.   

Despite still living with partial sight, partial hearing and with a metal plate in his head, David, aged 34, completed his degree and is now working as a radiographer at James Paget Hospital in Great Yarmouth. 

“I feel very proud, it’s been a long journey for me. 12 years since I had my accident and it’s gone full circle and now I’m a fully qualified radiographer,” said David.

“For me the reason I applied to go to university was because I was out of work for so long with lots of operations on my head. I remember one day I had an x-ray done on my head and it was done by a student and then that’s when the penny dropped, I thought oh, I would quite like to do this.”

David describes his time studying radiography as ‘very challenging, but very worthwhile’. In particular he praised the way he was able to gain practical experience throughout his degree programme. 

“It’s almost like an apprenticeship,” he said. “You are working full time. I enjoyed that aspect of it being a mature student, straightaway you are hands on with patients after your academic blocks.”

Members of David’s family were in attendance as he picked up his degree. He said: “Most certainly I wouldn’t be here without their support. Even my relatives who live four hours away came down so I just want to say thank you to them and the staff at UCS who have been fantastic, excellent.”