A Derby Grammar School student is on course to achieve her dream of becoming a doctor after she was inspired by her brother’s near fatal asthma attack.

Natalie Wood achieved an A, three Bs and two Cs at A-level and will go on to study Natural Sciences at university before applying for a graduate entry Medicine course.

She said that her dream was to become doctor after she witnessed her brother Tim having a severe asthma attack at home when she was 12 and he was aged seven.

The 19-year-old, of Heanor, said: “He just stopped breathing in bed one night. My mum heard a noise and went to check on him and he was just completely blue. She called an ambulance and he was taken to the Royal Derby Hospital and was in intensive care. He nearly died and had to be treated and monitored but after four days he recovered. That really made me want to become a doctor and if I can’t do that I’d like to go into medical research.”

Natalie said that doctors believed that the asthma attack may have been triggered by a high pollen count or Tim’s nut allergy.

The teenager has also had to overcome her own issues to achieve her A-level results as she suffers from anxiety.

After completing her first year at Derby Grammar’s Sixth Form she decided to retake it because she  believed she could improve even further on her results.

She said: “It’s been quite difficult for me so when I got my results I was just so, so happy and relieved. I decided I wanted to study five A-levels and I am a bit of a perfectionist. It’s amazing to come this far and now I feel like I can just relax. I don’t want to go into Medicine straight away as I think that might be too much pressure so hopefully I can do that after I’ve finished my Natural Sciences course which is three years. The graduate entry Medicine course is four years so I’ll be at university for a long time!”

Carol Bramall, retiring Head of Sixth Form at Derby Grammar School, congratulated Natalie on her results. “I’m delighted for Natalie today. She’s a woman who’s shown true determination and not let any obstacles stand in her way.”

Dr Ruth Norris, head teacher at Derby Grammar School, praised Natalie’s determination.

She said: “We welcome girls in the Sixth Form here at Derby Grammar School and Natalie is a true inspiration to others. She has persevered through a set of difficult circumstances and should be extremely proud of her results and the fact that she can now go on to pursue her dream of entering the medical profession one day. We wish her all the best for the future.”

There has been a large rise in the number of A*- B grades in this year’s A-Level results at Derby Grammar School. A total of 63% of grades were at A*- B, which is a 10% increase from 2017 and 22% of grades were A*/A.

In STEM subjects, 83% of grades were A*- C and in A-Level Maths 80% of grades were A*- C. 100% of the grades in Further Maths were A*-C and 90% of the grades in A-Level Physics were A*- C.

Dr Ruth Norris, Head of Derby Grammar School, praised the A-Level students.

She said: “We are full of admiration and praise for our pupils’ achievements today. The post-16 world of education has undergone such immense change and increase in rigour in the last few years that these outstanding results are even more of a cause for celebration. Success at A-Level is a key threshold in the lives of our youngsters and we wish them the very best as they spread their wings and take flight in the adult world of work or higher education: they have an exciting future ahead.”

  • Find out more about Derby Grammar School’s Sixth Form for boys and girls at the Sixth Form Open Evening on Monday 8 October. Book your place