However, in the summer before she started at Loughborough University her father was diagnosed with a brain tumour, whilst her mother also underwent continued treatment for cancer.
A month into her first year, Abigail’s father sadly passed away, and at the end of her second year she decided to take some time out to spend time with her mother and look after her.
Tragically, her mother also passed away before she started her final year and Abigail and her younger sister, Ellie, became parental guardians to their younger brother, Nathanael.
Despite the enormous challenges she faced juggling caring responsibilities, dealing with the loss of her parents and working towards her degree, Abigail overcame them and is graduating from Loughborough University.
Abigail credits Grace Church in Loughborough and the University’s Christian Union for their support. She said: “I can’t stress enough how important this was in terms of my university experience. The friends I made here were vital to me processing what was going on in my life.”
Her tutors also helped with mitigating circumstances claims and deadline extensions when she needed them, as well as supporting her with the time off that she needed to be with her family.
She commented: “I think to find a university that is not only well respected but has great pastoral support is quite difficult. At Loughborough, I was able to have both.”
On graduating, Abigail said: “It’s really great to be finally graduating. It doesn’t feel quite real. I’m very proud to have completed my course.”
Abigail is starting a degree at Coventry University in the autumn as she plans to become a paediatric nurse.