Students stick together in sickness and in health

05 June 2018
Pulses quickened for two health students who found new careers, and each other, as their eyes met across the classroom.

Kylie and Lee Foxton married last year after meeting at Middlesbrough College – both studying life-changing Access to Higher Education courses.

The couple, from Billingham, have now started new careers in the health sector, and a new life together. 

Kylie, 30, was waitressing but wanted a change and a long term career and so started the Access to Health course at Middlesbrough College.

It was there that she met Lee, 44, who had been in the Navy for 13 years and joined the course to pursue his dream of becoming a radiographer.

Kylie said: “I thought College was just for young people but when I met the other students, I realised this wasn’t the case.

“I had no idea I was going to meet my future husband! We met in the induction event at the start of the course, and when I was stuck with biology work, I messaged Lee and asked him to meet me in the library. 

“We started helping each other. I encouraged Lee to go for university interviews and he supported me – we were just really good together and it developed into a relationship.”

Since finishing the course Kylie has gone on to study a psychology degree, which she is due to finish this year. 

During her studies she was diagnosed with fibromyalgia – a condition that causes pain all over the body and affects more than 800,000 people in the UK.   

That didn’t stop the ambitious Kylie, who has based her dissertation on the condition and has worked with more than 76 fibromyalgia patients.

Her unique research found a correlation between the condition and short term memory loss.   

Lee, who left school with a few GCSEs, lacked the confidence to return to education but found the Access course helped. 
He said: “Kylie and I played to each other’s strengths on the course. I was stronger at biology and maths and Kylie preferred psychology so we pushed each other.” 

The romance blossomed and soon Lee had asked Kylie’s dad for his permission to marry her. 

They married at The Sporting Lodge, Stainton, in August 2017. 

Following the Middlesbrough College course Lee went on to study radiography and finished with a 2:1. He is now a qualified radiographer at North Tees Hospital.

He has since mentored current Access students to tell them of the opportunities available. 

Kylie, who is also on track to achieve a 2:1, became vice chair of the Psychology Society at university and has won awards for her voluntary research. 

She added: “The Access course gave me confidence to voice my views and do presentations. It also opened doors to future careers for me.

“And the way it has worked out for me and Lee is just like a fairytale. We have a new home, a new car and a new life together.”
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