Updated: 03/04/2014 02:51

Overcoming obstacles to achieve stellar A Level results

Overcoming obstacles to achieve stellar A Level results

Some 14,000 students collected their A-Level results today. 

And some have overcome seemingly insurmountable challenges to achieve stellar results. 

Our News Desk speaks to two of them. 

In just 24 hours, 17 year-old Asher Mau went from being able to walk normally, to being bedridden. 

It was 2011, and the first-year student at Anglo-Chinese Junior College was diagnosed with Guillian-Barre Syndrome, an auto immune neurological disorder that affects muscles and fine motor skills. 

This affected Asher's ability to write, move around, and do lab work. 

He was in a wheelchair and had to defer his A Levels for a year. 

But despite his condition, Asher made it a point to attend lessons regularly. 

He also remained active on the executive committee of ACJC's Science and Mathematics Council, and continued to win awards in competitions like the Astro Challenge and International Maths Olympiad. 

Now 19, Asher has seen his hard work bearing fruit - in the form of straight As on his results slip, with a distinction in H3 Mathematics. 

He credits those around him for helping him get through his A Levels. 

"They treated me as though I was normal. So I guess that helped a lot. It's not like I could do stuff by myself, like walking, at that time. It was more of, they kind of just accepted it. And that helped me accept it as well."

As for Amanda Chong of Pioneer Junior College, she developed glaucoma at the age of 3. 

Despite 4 corneal transplants, she lost her vision completely in her first year in JC. 

This meant she had to rely on talking software to read her notes aloud to her. 

And in subjects like Mathematics, which involves a lot of symbols and diagrams, she had to be trained to work with a scribe and reader in the exams. 

She also had to repeat her first year. 

Amanda says it was difficult coping at first. 

But she took it all in her stride and achieved 4 distinctions for her A Levels. 

The self-professed storyteller plans to pursue a degree in English Literature. 

And she has a message for those having a hard time overcoming obstacles. 

"They should focus on their main goal. What do they want out of life, and keep their focus there, so that you can work towards something. You can focus on what you want in the future, and you will be more motivated."

-By Lianne Chia

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