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Case Studies

Isabelle’s Story – Student with ME/CFS Completing her A Levels with Nisai

I had been ill since I was 15 but I managed to achieve my GCSEs through home tutoring. Then I started 6th form doing two A Levels as I didn’t think I would be able to manage three subjects due to my health. I enjoyed my A-Levels until after a short time I couldn’t keep up, the first essay I wrote for my English literature course was incomprehensible babble because I had felt so exhausted and ill whilst writing it.

I found I could not keep up with the work and school became a source of massive stress for me – the exertion of trying to keep up meant my health declined. I felt like I was failing, not being able to do the same things as my friends and my attendance gradually went down. Eventually, I was no longer able to go and I left.

After a few months break, once I felt strong enough, I looked into other options and found Nisai and it was exactly what I needed. I felt so relieved that there was a way for me to get an education without compromising my health and once I started my English Language A Level my life changed.

I was able to rest when I needed to and work when I felt well enough and catch up easily if I had a bad day and missed a lesson. I felt like an enormous pressure was taken off me as the teachers understand my situation and were supportive. I looked forward to my lessons and enjoyed my subjects. Instead of comparing myself to my healthy friends and thinking about all the things I could not do or found difficult, I was reminded of what I could do and that I was capable despite my health problems.

I have been able to get an education that supported me in my unique situation. I have been able to rest and recuperate whilst doing an A Level in English Language and a GCSE Combined Science. I achieved a grade B in my GCSE Science and a B in my AS English Language exam. I have never felt prouder and I look forward to finishing my A Level English.

I am so grateful to Nisai for providing a way for people like me who can’t go to conventional school for whatever reason.

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