A 19-year-old who lost 10 stone in 10 months after vowing to turn his life around is celebrating securing his dream of going to university.
Thomas Lowson suffered bullying and health problems when he reached 24 stone in January last year.
Now, after succeeding with a massive weight loss programme and moving to study A-levels at Sheffield College, Thomas has got the grades he needs to study English at Leeds Trinity University.
Celebrating this morning, he said: “The world’s my oyster with results like this.
“Nerves have been setting in. It’s been a case of pacing back and forth in my house from 4am this morning - I’m paranoid and pessimistic.
“But now I’m guaranteed to go to uni. I needed a C and a D, and I got a C and a B. I’m obviously exhilarated by that result.
“I’m over the moon, I’m speechless, just to have this moment and to get here. Everything’s been worth it and all the hard work’s paid off.”
Thomas said he decided to move from his previous sixth-form mainly because bullying related to his weight was making him unhappy.
“At secondary school, and in a year of sixth-form before I left, I was never happy,” he said.
“I was always quite large.
“At my heaviest, in January 2013, I weighed in at 24 stone which, I don’t need to explain, is an obscene amount to weigh.
“With the fresh start here (at Sheffield College), I decided to make the change and, with the help of the NHS and a practice they have called Way Ahead, which was 10 sessions over 10 weeks, I was able to lose 10 stone in 10 months, which changed my life.
“I notice it every day. Everything’s been worth it - every bit of hard work.
“It’s all been worth it to come here and have this moment.
“I’ve always wanted to go to university, that’s always been on my mind ever since I was young.”
Thomas, who is from the Grenoside area of Sheffield, got a C in English language, C in media studies and a B in film studies.
He said he is looking forward to his three-year degree course starting in September and is then hoping for a career in media, journalism or teaching.
Thomas’s mother Jayne Lowson said: “He’s done absolutely fantastic and we’re so proud of him. We were very concerned about his weight.
“He left his other school and came here and I think that was the start. He was a lot happier and weight started to come off.”