Cumbernauld student fights back from surgery to finish top of the class

Amy Tannock graduated from Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh, with BA (Hons) Film and Media (2:1)
Amy Tannock graduated from Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh, with BA (Hons) Film and Media (2:1)

A Cumbernauld woman who fought through illness to complete her degree has also been awarded a top prize in her course.

Amy Tannock (22) was in her final year of a Film and Media degree at Queen Margaret University (QMU), Edinburgh, when her studies were interrupted by surgery to treat her endometriosis.

Endometriosis is a condition where tissue similar to the lining of the womb starts to grow in other places, such as the ovaries and fallopian tubes.

It’s a very painful condition which can affect women of any age, but it’s most common in women in their 30s and 40s.

Despite this setback, Amy fought through it and was able to graduate with a 2:1 and also received the ‘Media, Communications and Performing Arts Photography Prize’ (awarded to the student with the highest mark for photography).

Amy said: “I’ve had endometriosis since I was 16-years-old and it causes me severe pain. I fell unwell in my fourth year of university and I had to go for an operation. I told my lecturers that I didn’t know if I’d be able to do my dissertation but they said ‘You can have the time off if you want - it’s OK, we can do this, we can extend the deadline’.

“I didn’t want an extension, though, I wanted to fight for it. My lecturers stood by me through everything – they helped me through absolutely everything. And I’m standing here today because of them and because of the strong determination that I have.”

Amy’s has also wasted no time in taking the first step in her career within the media sector. One day before her graduation she started her new role as Search Executive at Equator Digital Media in Glasgow.

Dr Martin Zeller-Jacques, senior lecturer in QMU’s Media, Communication and Performing Arts Division, said: “Amy is a dedicated and talented young woman and a deserving prize-winner. Her fortitude and hard work are commendable and she is a fine example to any other student struggling with challenging personal circumstances.

“All of her lecturers wish Amy every success in her new job and look forward to seeing what she’ll do next.”

To anyone considering studying at QMU, Amy has a few words of advice: “There is nothing in your way to stop you – you are your best supporter – so just keep pushing through. Queen Margaret will be there to support you.”