ST Helens sporting ace Declan Sephton-Hulme isn’t the type to let anything get in his way.
But his latest heroics have defied even his most ardent admirers after he refused to let a brain haemorrhage get in his way of pursuing his dream of becoming a professional rugby league player.
Now the 18-year-old has won a scholarship award from Edge Hill University for his determination to continue despite his setbacks.
Declan, from St Helens, was chosen as this year’s winner for his ‘honesty, resilience, hardwork and commitment’ to his studies.
The BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Science student, who was also awarded a Sporting Excellence Scholarship, suffered a brain haemorrhage and slipped into a coma after collapsing in April 2006.
His ordeal was the result of a genetic brain condition called Arterio Venous Malformation (AVM).
He was warned by doctors he’d find it diffucult to walk let alone cope with the rigours of rugby league.
However, he defied medical expectations with a remarkable recovery and is now more determined than ever.
He won a place on Warrington Wolves Scholarship Programme and Widnes Vikings.
He said: “Although I’ve been through a lot and I had to change my career ideas because I can forget things as a result of the haemorrhage I’ve never given up my dreams of playing rugby.
“I was chuffed to win a Sporting Excellence Scholarship but to then win the Adam Bell Scholarship was so special.
“I’ve been so lucky to pull through and these awards will help me prepare for playing professional rugby full-time.
The award was set up in memory of a former Edge Hill staff member who died suddenly from a brain haemorrhage, aged 27.