A WORCESTER woman who had taken suddenly ill at university has just graduated.

Anna Hill, from Warndon Villages, has had to overcome more obstacles than most during her journey to graduate.

The 21-year-old was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis just months after starting her Police Sciences course, and was blighted by pain and exhaustion throughout most of her time at university.

But now, having been through a major operation to have an ileostomy (stoma bag) fitted, Anna is able to enjoy life again and is already planning her next career move – training to be a nurse.


Former Worcester X Factor contestant Gathan Cheema in Little Princess Trust tribute to heroes who saved sick baby

Mum's anger after bikes stolen from outside Asda, Worcester

After trying numerous medications to get her illness under control, Anna planned to return to University of South Wales for her third year, before she fell ill again – this time having to be admitted to hospital.

She said: “I had to go to A&E as the pain was so awful, and was told I was at risk of having a perforated bowel.

"That’s when I had the operation to have an ileostomy, where a stoma bag is fitted in place of your colon to collect waste products.

“At first, I was upset at the thought of having to wear this bag for potentially the rest of my life, but I quickly realised much easier everything would be.

“It means I have to be near a toilet to empty the bag regularly, but it’s a very small price to pay when my life had become so difficult before.

"I was exhausted a lot of the time, I’d gained weight from being on steroids and even the smallest of tasks felt difficult."

Anna missed two months of study while she recovered from surgery, but thanks to the support from her tutors and family she was able to catch up and complete all of her assignments and exams.

Now, inspired by the care she received while at Worcestershire Royal Hospital, Anna is considering a change in career to become a nurse.

She said: “I’d love to help others who are going through similar conditions, and reassure them that everything will be OK.”