A teenager who decided he wanted to become a doctor following the tragic death of his sister is one step closer to achieving his dream.
Toby Watson, 18, has been offered a much coveted place to study medicine at Imperial College, London.
Over 2,600 people applied to Imperial to read medicine, and Toby, a pupil at Buckswood School in Guestling, has been offered one of just 330 available places.
Imperial is ranked third in Europe and eighth in the world in the Times Higher Education World University rankings 2016/17 and first in the UK and fifth in the world in the Times Higher Education World’s Most International Universities 2017 league table.
Toby’s path to medical school began at a young age when his sister died at the tender age of three to a rare form of mitochondria complex 1, an untreatable condition affecting energy production in the body.
From that moment on Toby was determined to help people, having been inspired by the paediatric cardiologist who treated his sister, and has been working towards his goal of medical school since the age of six.
He said: “Every time we had a lesson like art I would always ask my teachers if I could do some extra maths or science.
“Since joining Buckswood my dream to become a doctor has become a more realistic ambition and with the support of my teachers, who helped me turn a predicated E in English at GCSE to an A, I am thrilled to have been accepted at Imperial College. Although the pressure is now on to achieve the A*AA I need at A Level, I always do well under pressure.”
Toby first visited Imperial last year with Buckswood when he took part in the Model United Nations debating event. Through the school, Toby also visited Swaziland, where he spent time at an AIDS hospital. He has also applied for work experience in the Cardiology Clinic in Dubai.
Buckswood headmaster Giles Sutton said: “We are all immensely proud of Toby who has worked really hard to earn his place at Imperial.
“Toby has always been a dedicated member of the science department and won a Gold Award in the Royal Society’s Biology Olympiad, finishing in the top six percent in the UK.”