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Adam Islam

Digital Media Technology - BSc (Hons)

Adam always envisaged himself going to university, walking around campus and getting involved in all that uni life had to offer.  He knew it would be a whole new experience for him to navigate, but he never anticipated that he’d need a wheelchair to do so.

In September 2018 medical problems led Adam to make the tough decision to defer his place at BCU for a year. Five months later he found himself making a second heart-breaking decision, this time it was to have his left leg amputated. Despite lots of dedication and hard work Adam was left unable to walk with a prosthetic leg and now requires a wheelchair to get around. This threw his university attendance into doubt once again. However, after a lot of thinking his third big decision was to take up his place and he finally started university in September 2019. BCU has grown Adam’s confidence, giving him new motivations and the feeling that nothing is impossible.

“I always wanted to study at University, but that goal was to always walk at University. In 2018 I started to have some medical problems which required a lot of surgery on my left leg. I was due to start at Birmingham City University in September 2018 but I had to make the tough decision to defer my place and focus on my health.

Further medical complications meant that in March 2019 I made the heart-breaking decision to have my left leg amputated. As devastating as this was I tried to stay positive and focus on the fact that this left me with a couple of months to rehabilitate myself and learn to get around on a prosthetic leg so that I could walk into university in September. That was my ultimate goal.

I took my rehab very seriously. I would exercise every single day and finally, in June I was given my prosthetic leg. I started to learn the basics for walking, everything was going to plan. Then a small pain I had gradually worsened. Unfortunately, it became far too painful for me to walk. I was told I needed further surgery if I ever wanted to walk again. This sadly meant I wouldn’t be able to walk into university in September.

After a lot of consideration and reflection I eventually came to terms with my situation and decided to come to university in a wheelchair. This was extremely hard for me as I’d had such high hopes for my rehabilitation, but I realised I needed to live my life.

When I joined Birmingham City University, I was extremely anxious and nervous. But I didn’t need to worry, everyone, staff and students alike, were absolutely amazing from the moment I arrived at the university. I’ve never felt like the odd one out at BCU. I feel like I'm part of a massive team.

My confidence has grown immensely since becoming a student at BCU. I had almost zero confidence when I started uni, but now I feel I can achieve so much and be anything I want.

One of my big accomplishments was joining the BCU Rock Climbing society. I needed a challenge, I needed to prove to myself that even with one leg I could still accomplish anything. Being a member of the Rock Climbing society has seriously helped with that. The friends I’ve made are amazing and have helped me with adapting to climbing. It’s been an incredible experience and definitely my most proud accomplishment in a very long time.

To me ‘I AM BCU’ means I am this university. I am a piece of this incredible puzzle. I am part of a society that cares about my needs and abilities. I am part of a class that understands when I need to take a break. I am part of an enormous family that includes all types of different people, different abilities, different races, different religions, different languages and different stories but we all unite under one similarity… We are all BCU. “