Young mother suffering paralysis among Queen’s graduates

Queen's University graduate Emma Carson and daughter Amy
Queen's University graduate Emma Carson and daughter Amy

A devoted mother who battled neurological illness during her degree will be among the proud graduates from Queen’s University today.

The week-long summer graduation ceremonies begin this morning at Queen’s and will see hundreds of students receive their degrees after years of hard work.

Among today’s degree recipients is Emma Carson from Ballyclare who managed to complete her degree in Maths while raising her five-year-old daughter Amy, as well as suffering from paralysis and problems with her vision and speech.

She said: “Queen’s University and my lecturers couldn’t have done more to help and support me through this difficult stage of my life. If it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t have been able to come this far.

“It’s like one big family who all understand each other and want to help each other succeed.”

The future is bright for the graduating Ballyclare student. She is currently juggling job applications with wedding planning and house hunting, as she prepares to get married next year.

In the future she hopes to undertake a PGCE and go into teaching.

Meanwhile, Irish-American philanthropist Loretta Brennan Glucksman CBE, will receive receive an honorary degree today for her service to business and commerce.

She has raised millions for projects in Northern Ireland and Ireland supporting peace and reconciliation, arts and culture, education and community development.

Commenting on the honour, Mrs Glucksman said: “It is a privilege to be recognised by Queen’s University in this manner.

“I have a great love for the island of Ireland and the people here. I also have great respect for Queen’s and the work that is being done at the university.”