Brave music prodigy battling terminal disease graduates from Cambridge with 2.1
Alex became dangerously ill studying for his exams losing one-and-a-half stone
His lung capacity is just 38 per cent and he uses an electric scooter to get aroundGifted student plans to take a gap year before pursuing his dream of becoming a conductor
12:22 GMT, 28 June 2012
Alex said he was 'pleased and proud' to get his Cambridge degree. He now plans to have a gap year
A brave music student battling a terminal disease has achieved his dream of graduating from Cambridge University today – after refusing to be treated in hospital during his finals.
Music prodigy Alex Stobbs, 22, suffers from a virulent form of cystic fibrosis and became dangerously ill during his exams – even losing one-and-a-half stone.
His lung capacity is just 38 per cent – a level at which doctors usually recommend a lung transplant – and he has to take 50 tablets a day and oxygen at night to survive.
But against all the odds Alex managed to complete his music degree and has now graduated with an impressive 2:1.
'I’m very pleased and proud to have got my degree,' Alex said.
'It has been an extremely tiring and stressful five months and I’ve been in the library most days but I’ve had great support from my family and friends and it has paid off in the end.
'My health has been bad and I should have gone into hospital several times since January but I couldn’t justify taking the time out from studying.
'I knew if I went into hospital and even took just a week out I may not ever get my degree so I just ploughed on.
'It was really important to me that I got a degree I was happy with so I worked as hard as I could.'
Alex, who comes from Kent, was due to take his finals at King’s College last May but his health deteriorated and he was finally forced to leave the prestigious university after four lengthy hospital stays.
On one occasion his lung capacity went down to a critical 20 per cent and he had to spend three weeks in hospital.
But after six months recuperating he managed to return to the university last October for his final year.
Alex gets around campus on an electric scooter. He has brittle bone disease due to having to take steroids for years
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Alex (pictured today left) hopes to become a conductor. He first came to public attention after featuring in a Channel 4 documentary called 'A Boy Called Alex' in 2007 (right)
Years of steroids have left him with brittle bone disease and he has had to use a small electric scooter to travel around the university campus.
Alex, who eventually hopes to become a conductor, is also becoming increasingly deaf because of the mucus build-up.
Although his lungs are getting worse he is keen to avoid a lung transplant for as long as possible.
Now he has graduated he will spend several weeks in hospital re-gaining his strength before taking a gap year.
He plans to move to London and continue working on his composition of an opera set in a hospital, before possibly going to music college in the future.
He has also set up a group featuring lots of sporty musicians who plan to play to raise money for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust.
'Lots of people are surprised I have got this far but I am very determined,' he said.
'I’m worried about my health but I’m happy that I’m doing everything that I want to with my life.'