Linslade student Bethany Sinfield has had two very different offers in recent weeks.
She’s delighted with the first – a confirmed place at the university of her choice, Hertfordshire, to study psychology in September – but is slightly more bemused by the second: an invitation to appear on The Undateables.
“I never saw that one coming,” Beth smiles. “But at the same time, I feel honoured to have been given the opportunity to further raise awareness of disability and stroke.”
Five years ago, the former Cedars Upper pupil suffered locked-in syndrome, after a devastating clot in her brainstem. Her parents were told she would never walk or talk and that she would have to be fed through a tube.
But the determined teenager - who’s now 21 - confounded the medics and has slowly but surely turned her life around. She’s learned to drive and has worked hard to pass the A levels she had to abandon when she was ill.
She’s still on Cloud Nine regarding her current situation and says: “Getting an unconditional offer and a confirmed place was the best feeling in the world. I kept re-reading my acceptance email, I couldn’t quite believe it – definitely one of my best moments this year!”
Beth knows going to uni will be difficult physically and admits: “The amount of walking will definitely challenge my fatigue but at the end of the day, I can do it. It may tire me out but I can still do it, it’s something that will be amazing to achieve.”
She’s also looking forward to living away from home, catering for herself and becoming even more independent. “But I’ll miss my parents’ home-cooking,” she says.
Campaigning for greater stroke awareness has been put on the back burner while she completes her studies - and she’s still contemplating that offer from The Undateables.