An aspiring veterinary surgeon says she began to follow her dreams after the tragic passing of her beloved father.

Amber-Leigh Walker was planning to study A Levels when her father Myles passed away aged just 42, leaving Amber-Leigh unsure what the future would bring.

The 18-year-old from Old Colwyn, who was battling anxiety and mental health issues, decided to apply to study for a Level 3 Extended Diploma in Animal Management at Coleg Cambria Llysfasi, near Ruthin.

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She is now on course to achieve a Distinction and will attend the new Harper and Keele Veterinary School from September.

Thanking lecturer Alex Morgan and staff at Llysfasi for their help, the former Ysgol Bryn Elian pupil is excited to begin the next chapter of her story.

The Leader:  Amber-Leigh Walker, the aspiring veterinary surgeon Amber-Leigh Walker, the aspiring veterinary surgeon

“I’ve been through a lot these past few years, but I was never going to give up, I can’t imagine not going on to be a vet and making my Dad proud,” said Amber-Leigh.

“He was always telling me to work hard and reach my goals, I had his voice in my head spurring me on and am so happy that I’m on my way to making those dreams come true.

“It was a devastating time for us, my plans changed, and I decided to go to Cambria which has turned out to be a great decision because I absolutely loved the course and they helped me through everything.”

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Growing up in a household full of pets gave Amber-Leigh a head-start in caring for creatures of all shapes and sizes, from dogs and cats to guinea pigs, hamsters, and rodents.

The Leader:  Amber-Leigh Walker, the aspiring veterinary surgeon Amber-Leigh Walker, the aspiring veterinary surgeon

“I knew from a very young age I wanted to work with animals,” she said.

“When I was little and started to understand they needed to go to the ‘doctors’ I became determined that’s what I would do one day, I wanted to help them if they were sick or injured.

“To now be in the position of completing my studies at Coleg Cambria – especially given the challenges of the Coronavirus and remote learning– and preparing to begin a degree in Veterinary Medicine and Surgery is still a huge shock, but I’m absolutely delighted.

“Thanks again to all of the team at Llysfasi and especially my amazing mum and family – I could not have done it without you.”

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Alex congratulated Amber-Leigh on her university place and said her positivity and determination are an example to others.

“She has worked so hard and is such an inspiration, we wish her every success and the best of luck at university,” she added.

“We have no doubt she will go on to have a successful career as a veterinary surgeon.”

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