Claire Bolger qualified as a Hearing Aid Audiologist in spite of being diagnosed with a benign brain tumour which has resulted in one-sided deafness. She graduated from Queen Margaret University (QMU) with a Higher Diploma in Audiology on Tuesday 9 July.
The Ballyfoyle native discovered she had an acoustic neuroma following a hearing test while in her first year of study at QMU in Edinburgh. Acoustic neuroma is a benign tumour that develops on the balance and hearing or auditory nerves leading from the inner ear to the brain.
Immediate surgery was required and the mature student was forced to take a year out from her academic pursuits. While the surgery was a success Claire was left with single-sided deafness.
Instead of admitting defeat, Claire rose to the challenge.
She studied from home in Ireland, visiting QMU’s campus in Musselburgh for a week at a time for one-to-one contact. The outcome of her dedication was evident on her graduation day. Moreover, she was awarded the Starkey Hearing Technologies Student of the Year Award for her outstanding achievements and commitment to her learning.
“I’m really proud to be a mature student,” said Claire. “QMU is such a supportive place. I always found the staff really friendly and approachable, and I really enjoyed my time there.”