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Student overcomes illness to graduate in Pharmacy  

Molly-Ann McCormick, aged 22, from Belfast will today (Monday 3 July) graduate with a MPharm in Pharmacy from Queen’s University Belfast.  

Soon after Molly-Ann began her degree in 2020, she became seriously ill and was the Intensive Care Unit for 17 days, having contracted Pneumococcal sepsis.  

When she was just two and a half years old, Molly-Ann was diagnosed with juvenile idiopathic arthritis and uveitis, which resulted in her becoming immunocompromised. Following a strep throat infection in 2020, she developed life-threatening pneumonia, which led to her having to spend just under four weeks in ICU where she was ventilated in a coma.  

Molly-Ann's doctor advised her to take a year out from her studies but she was determined to keep going and to continue studying alongside her friends she had made in her first year.   

 As this coincided with lockdown, her classes had moved online, which enabled her to study from home. She was relieved to pass her first year exams, which she sat in August that year.   

Molly-Ann says: “Back in spring 2020, I didn’t dream that I would be graduating as planned with my friends in 2023. I’m so grateful for the support I received from fellow students and my tutors, particularly Dr Sharon Haughey and Dr Vicky Kett.  

“Following graduation, I am planning to start by Foundation Training Year, which will involve working in community pharmacy for six months followed by six months in hospital. I’m looking forward to seeing what the future holds.”   



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