Academic Triumph For Amy Despite Tragedy

Kedleston Road campus 504x257 Academic Triumph For Amy Despite Tragedy

Date posted: 17 January 2012

A nurse who stuck with her studies despite her husband's death in a car accident - even working in an accident and emergency unit - will graduate from the University of Derby with an additional bravery award.

Rowland Jeffrey, 29, was tragically killed in January 2009 when his car was in collision with a bus. He and wife Amy had been married for just 21 months at the time.

Amy was only a few months into a three-year Advanced Diploma in Nursing Studies course, at the University of Derby's Chesterfield site, when the tragedy occurred but showed great determination in continuing with the qualification. One of her work placements during the course even involved working in the accident and emergency unit at Chesterfield Royal Hospital.

Amy will graduate with course colleagues on Friday 20 January, on the second and final day of the University's annual Awards Ceremonies, held at the Derby Assembly Rooms. Around 2,000 students will graduate over the two days.

In addition her University Nursing tutors have already presented Amy with a special accolade - the Matthew Compton Achievement Against Adversity Award - in recognition of her determination.

Amy, now 28, of Langold, Worksop, said: "A lot of people have asked me how I managed to carry on but I didn't want to let Rowland down. I made a promise to him that I would finish my Nursing course and I stuck with that.

"In a way I think it has given me something to focus on in the last few difficult years. It was hard at times, especially when a road traffic accident victim was brought in during my work placement at the accident and emergency unit.

"Mine and Rowland's family, and my personal tutor at the University, Louise Sherratt, have been so supportive while I've been doing the course."

Rowland will, of course, be sadly missed at her graduation but his mother, Sharron, will be there with the rest of Amy's family to celebrate her achievement.

Amy now works at Chesterfield Royal Hospital as a Bank Staff Nurse, meaning she can be asked to attend wherever NHS nursing staff are needed.

Other people on the University's Nursing courses who received additional awards earlier this month (January) in connection with their coursework included:

  • Amanda Rice - Mental Health branch Excellence in Practice award
  • Sarah Lomas - Impact of Learning in Practice award
  • Rachel Slater - Special Achievement Award
  • Laura Jeffery - Florence Nightingale Award
  • Louise Bolton - Ann Jeggens Innovation in Practice award.

Students received a certificate, £50 book token and a commemorative paperweight.

For further media information please contact Press and PR Officer Joanna Colburn on 01332 593004 or 07909 533242, or

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