The Leaving Cert Student Who S...

The Last Word With Matt Cooper

The Leaving Cert Student Who Sat Exams From Hospital After Her Appendix Ruptured

Sarah Stacey
Sarah Stacey

5:44 PM - 4 Jul 2019

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Can you imagine what it would be like to have to sit your Leaving Cert exams from a hospital bed?

That's what happened to Amy Richards from Wexford, who sat her first English paper just hours after her appendix ruptured.

Amy was admitted to hospital with severe abdominal pain the night before the exams began. Informed that she probably had acute appendicitis, she was scheduled to undergo surgery at 8pm.

She later found out her appendix had ruptured and gangrene was now setting in. She also had a large abscess as well as a blood infection, and her parents were told she was lucky to be alive.

Amy's surgery was postponed until 1am due to an emergency. As a result, she only got three hours' sleep that night.

Her parents contacted the State Examinations Commission to request a special provision to defer her first exam, but this request was declined.

As a result, Amy had to sit the exam from her hospital bed: "I had two drips in my left arm and the nurses came in at 20-minute/half-hour intervals to give me different types of medications."

Although she got through her first three exams in hospital, she was extremely nauseous from the effects of the surgery and anaesthetic and had to finish two of her papers early.

Amy sat the rest of the Leaving Cert in a private exam centre at her school, but admits it was a struggle.

She is hoping to study medicine at university, but feels her performance was negatively impacted despite the hard work she put in over the previous two years.

"It's definitely not an accurate representation of everything I've done. I struggled to motivate myself to continue."

She now wants to make sure that provisions are put in place in the future for students who experience illness.

"I'm determined that a change should be brought in because I really do not want anybody else to go through what I went through, and what so many other people have gone through. It's not right, it's inhumane."

Listen to the interview in full by pressing the play button on this page.


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Amy Richards Appendicitis Exams Leaving Cert

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