Young Citizen Award: Teenager overcomes health setbacks to be a star student at Palmers Catholic Academy
PUBLISHED: 10:15 05 September 2017 | UPDATED: 09:38 07 September 2017
Whilst most teenagers will find taking their exams stressful, not many will have faced as many hurdles as Shimal Devapura.
Shimal, who is this week’s Young Citizen Award nominee, has suffered from chronic kidney failure since he was nine months old.
But plans for a transplant operation last summer were initially halted after tests showed his dad Nishendra’s kidney was not suitable.
Luckily his mother Champika proved to be a match and the operation successfully took place on December 16.
Shimal said: “I was completely out of it at first and couldn’t do anything.
“It was difficult to get out of bed.
“After I recovered, I noticed that I had a lot more energy.”
But once he returned to Palmers Catholic Academy, in Aldborough Road South, Seven Kings, Shimal faced another challenge in early May.
He said: “I was studying at school and I felt this really bad pain.
“I went home and it was still really bad, I tried to sleep but it didn’t get better and we went to the doctors.
“The GP thought it was appendicitis and I just remember feeling so doubtful that it could be that!”
After undergoing another operation to remove his appendix, the undeterred 18-year-old returned to school once more in mid June to sit his exams.
Now he is celebrating his hard work, after gaining outstanding A-level results, and he is keen to thank his parents, brother Minol and teachers.
Throughout his time at Palmers, the school has sent work for Shimal to complete while he was at Great Ormond Street Hospital.
He said: “I think everyone is just so proud of me after all that happened.
“All of my teachers were so helpful and my head of year was so understanding.
“Everyone has been amazing.”
The award is run by the Recorder in conjunction with Redbridge Rotary Club, and sponsored by The Exchange shopping centre, Ilford, which will provide each monthly winner with a £30 gift card.
The Young Citizen of the Year will be crowned at next year’s Mayor’s Community Awards.
You can nominate any person from Redbridge, as long as they are under 25, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.