Loss Leads to Ambition for Young Kawerau Mum

26 Nov 2015

“Losing my youngest daughter last year was my inspiration to study at Waiariki Institute of Technology in Kawerau. She had a rare liver disease called biliary atresia and fought for 17 months in Starship Hospital. I was her personal nurse for that time.”

Tessa Thornton is just one of the many young lives being given renewed direction through local delivery of Waiariki’s Certificate in Smart Study and the National Certificate in Health, Disability and Aged Support.

In partnership with Tuwharetoa Ki Kawerau, Waiariki has been able to teach Tessa the skills needed to help her achieve her new found career goals without her having to relocate from her hometown in order to obtain them.

“The staff at Starship are brilliant. They are the most inspirational people ever. As soon as something happened with my daughter, they were right there to teach me everything I wanted to learn, and never hesitated one bit.

“That is what I hope to play forward. Not only inspire other people, but to help others through their difficulties when it comes to sickness.”

Stating that chemistry and her visit to the newly opened Health and Science Centre on Waiariki’s main Rotorua campus were among the highlights of her qualification, Tessa remains thankful for the ongoing support of her tutors.

“I love Waiariki! Nursing is a passion for me and everything that I learn is an inspiration. Sarah Rupe is just the loveliest person, she makes every day fun and Andrea Schofield is the same, but she’s the stern one, so it’s like good cop / bad cop, that’s how they roll, it’s really cool.”

“My goal now is to become a pediatric nurse. My best mate Marama and I just received a phone call from Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi to say we have our interviews for their Bachelor of Nursing in Whakatane, so I’m really looking forward to it!”

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Page last updated: 02 May 2017