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Degree success for 'miracle' Keighley girl Nicola
7:00am Thursday 4th October 2012 in News
A woman who was hailed a miracle baby after surviving a premature birth 14 weeks early – leaving her with cerebral palsy – has defied the odds by graduating from university.
Nicola Golding, now 21, strived for success at school despite her premature birth at Airedale Hospital in Steeton, Keighley, and will, next month, return to Teeside University in Middlesbrough to receive her multimedia journalism degree.
Paying tribute to friends and family following her degree success, she said: “Everyone rallied round to ensure I could manage.”
Nicola, of Staveley Road, Ingrow, Keighley, was 14 and a half ounces – less than the weight of a bag of sugar – when she was born. Mum Eileen had to undergo an emergency caesarian and baby Nicola spent months at the hospital’s special care baby unit.
Soon after the birth, Mrs Golding said it was “hard to believe something so small could live”, and she and Nicola’s father, Terry, praised their tiny daughter’s fighting spirit.
Her determination was vital in helping Nicola overcome disabilities that, according to health staff, would badly affect her progress through life.
Nicola said: “When I was first diagnosed, my mum got told I'd be lucky to walk round a supermarket at best.
“It was supposed to take me a long time to crawl, but my mum got down on the floor to help me. She taught me in a week and her knees were cracked and bleeding. It would never have entered my mum’s head not to send me to a mainstream school.”
She praised teachers and fellow students for the help they gave throughout her time at Ingrow and Oakbank schools in Keighley. When it came to university, Nicola said she knew she had to move away from home to prove to herself she could cope.
She said: “Supported Living helped me with cooking and in my final year I moved in with a good group of friends.”
Mum, Eileen, said: “Nicola was very independent and tried to be like other children. She’s always been very bright and very forward. We always pushed her. We said to Nicola: ‘you’ve got a disability, but we’re not going to class you as disabled’.”