By Josh Wright

FOUR years on from a car crash which left him paralysed from the neck down, a former Wycliffe College pupil has graduated from university with a first class honours degree.

Rob Camm, 23, is now aiming to become a lawyer after passing his BSc politics and philosophy degree at the University of Bristol with flying colours.

Since the crash in September 2013, Rob has tackled a number of challenges head-on including becoming the first tetraplegic in the world to complete a Tough Mudder event, using a wheelchair he controlled with his chin.

He said: “Before the accident, I had always been the type of person who wanted to be the best they can be. Getting a first has made me feel that way again.

“I couldn’t believe it when I saw my result. I had to keep refreshing the student information page to be sure.

“It was a lot of work, just as it is for all students. There have been times when I’ve struggled but my friends, family and carers have really pulled me through when I’ve felt down. Not many people get a first so I’m very proud of managing to do that.”

The keen rugby player, who has just returned from a year abroad, was a passenger in a car that crashed in Cam in September 2013, just a week before he was due to start studying at York University.

A year later he began on a similar course in Bristol which was closer to his family’s Breadstone home.

Special technology has helped make his educational achievements possible, with voice recognition software allowing him to write essays, while a system called SmartNav enables him to move a mouse pointer around the screen using head movements.

Any books or papers needed by Rob were scanned by staff at the university library and any lectures or seminars he missed were recorded for him to watch at home.

This technology proved even more crucial when Rob was confined to his bed for four months in his second year due to pressure sores, which required total bed rest in order to heal.

During his time at university, he joined the law club and has been on several work experience placements, most recently at law firm Osborne Clarke.

Rob said: “University has been part of trying to get my life restarted, learning what I can and cannot do. It’s been good to get out of the house and have a purpose.

“Meeting people and socialising has been hard, but many things are possible with some planning. The disability services team has been fantastic at helping me and my tutors have been really good too.

“Being a student at Bristol has been great. I’ve especially enjoyed being taught by leaders in their field; it’s really inspiring to listen to them talk about subjects they’re passionate about.”

Rob’s now got his own flat in the city centre so is able to split his time between Bristol and Breadstone.

Not only does Rob plan to take part in Tough Mudder again this year, he will also be studying for a Law conversion course at the University of Law.

Dr Columbus Peoples, Rob’s personal tutor during his time at the University of Bristol, said: “Although Rob’s had additional barriers to overcome, in many ways I’m not surprised he got a First – he’s always been very determined and has really embraced the course.

“He’s got better and better throughout the three years, he’s worked incredibly hard, has shown real enthusiasm and has great intellectual ability. We’re incredibly proud of him.”