UK (Abertay University) Abertay University student becomes first in family to graduate after severe health issues

An Abertay University student is to graduate with a BSc (Hons) in Mental Health Nursing ten years after developing near-fatal epilepsy.

36-year-old Linzi Morgan left school with no qualifications at 15, before going on to start a family and work full time.

On the 25th of November she will become the first person in her family to graduate as she walks across the stage at Dundee’s Caird Hall as part of Abertay University’s Winter Graduation ceremony.

The knowledge and skills Linzi developed throughout her course means she’s already secured a full-time role with NHS Tayside as a Mental Health Nurse.

Linzi entered the care profession and fell in love with helping others, thriving in the care environment.

Once her children started school, Linzi decided she wanted to further her career in the sector and decided to enrol into an introduction to healthcare course at college, where she completed her first year in 2011.

However, in 2012 Linzi developed a severe case of epilepsy which left her having regular seizures.

Linzi’s epilepsy was so severe it caused her to have a massive seizure in her sleep which stopped her breathing.

Husband Andy had to revive Linzi before medical help arrived.

Linzi said: “My husband works long hours and is not always home by the time I go to bed. I am so thankful he was there that night, or I wouldn’t be here today.”

Linzi’s recovery from the incident took longer than expected, meaning she had to put her dreams of furthering her education on hold.

With the encouragement of her family, Linzi applied for the BSc (Hons) Mental Health Nursing at Abertay.

She says the University was a great fit for her because life and industry experience was taken into account when applying – not just official qualifications.

Linzi added: “Coming back to education after such a long time was a daunting experience. I was worried I wouldn’t cope with the leap from college to university but the staff at Abertay were so supportive.

“The specialised help I received from academic support staff allowed me to build my confidence in own academic abilities. I wouldn’t have been able to progress in my studies without their help.”

Linzi’s health has continued to improve as she’s progressed through her studies and has now been seizure free for seven years.

Jude Kelly, BSc (Hons) Mental Health Nursing Programme Leader said: “We are delighted that Linzi has overcome the challenges she’s faced in life to become the first in her family to graduate university.

“It has been great to watch her develop her knowledge throughout her degree programme and she will make a great addition to NHS Tayside.

“I’d like to say congratulations to Linzi and to everyone graduating in our winter ceremony.”