A BRAVE schoolboy battling a brain tumour has defied the odds to pass his GCSEs.

Despite suffering many side-effects from his treatment Matthew Cotgrave continued with his education at Connah’s Quay High School and has been rewarded with three C grades in English, maths and geography.

On account of the strain caused by his non-cancerous brain tumour, Matthew, 16, has received only part-time education for the past year and suffers from significant memory loss.

But he overcame all obstacles to exceed his predicted grades and emerge with a beaming smile on his face as he proudly held his results aloft at the school yesterday.

Delighted mother Kathy, of St Mark’s Avenue, Connah’s Quay, said: “I am really proud of Matthew for what he has done and how brave he has been.

“He has missed so much school but he really wanted to carry on and get his GCSEs.

“When you consider everything that has happened to Matthew you realise just what an achievement it is for him.

“I am so grateful to Connah’s Quay High School for what they have done for Matthew. They have told me how pleased they are for him about what he achieved.”
In total he picked up three Cs, one D and five E grades.

The impact of Matthew’s tumour has been strongly felt, with symptoms including his memory loss and poor balance affecting his independence in life.

The amount of energy used up when attending school for just half a day means Matthew spends much of the rest of his time sleeping.

Single-parent Kathy had to quit her job as a customer care manager to look after Matthew full-time after his tumour was diagnosed in January 2009, but says nothing could come before his health.

Kathy, who has three other sons, said: “It has been a very difficult time but looking after Matthew has been so worthwhile, especially on days like today.

“He doesn’t complain about what he is going through. He wants to go back to the school for the sixth form and we will be discussing with them what courses he should do there.”

Previously an active youngster, Matthew was diagnosed with a brain tumour after suffering headaches. He spent three months receiving treatment at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool and six weeks of radiotherapy at Clatterbridge Hospital, Wirral.

Eighty per cent of the tumour was removed during operations, but he will be affected by the remainder for the rest of his life.