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Meet the teen who went viral after taking her hospital exams

Meet the teen who went viral after taking her hospital exams

This week marks the end of GCSE exams, when millions of teenagers across the UK sat in packed school halls alongside their peers to try to achieve their best grades. But it was a very different experience for 16-year-old Gabriella Boyd, who had to complete this rite of passage alone in a room while in hospital at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital.

Gabriella, from south east London, lives with a condition called gastroschisis, a birth defect which occurs when a child’s abdomen does not fully develop in the womb. As a result, she has been in and out of hospital wards since she was a baby.

Gabriella went viral last month after sharing a video on TikTok using the popular hashtag #GRWM (Get Ready With Me), which is normally used to showcase a beauty routine before a night out or a night out with friends. Gabriella’s video showed her waking up at 4:30 a.m. to “get ready” for a biology review. The video has since gained 6 million views.

Yahoo News spoke with Gabriella who told us about her condition and what a “normal” school day at the hospital is like – especially when she’s trying to take exams.

Gabriella Boyd stood alongside her mother Virginia, father Alex and younger brother Suvero.Gabriella Boyd stood alongside her mother Virginia, father Alex and younger brother Suvero.

Gabriella Boyd stood alongside her mother Virginia, father Alex and younger brother Suvero.

Gabriella’s condition

Gabriella’s mother and her unborn baby girl were suffering from gastroschisis – which affects around 1 in 3,000 babies each year – when she underwent an ultrasound shortly before her due date in 2008.

Virginia, now 49, was told her daughter would need surgery that had a 95 percent success rate. Unfortunately, there were complications and Gabriella was admitted to Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, where she remained until she was five.

Since then, she has been in and out of the hospital dozens of times.

Gabriella’s most recent confession came in February of this year. She sometimes works at the family restaurant Kumquat, in Tunbridge Wells, with her father, Alex, 45, and brother Suvero, 13. Although Gabriella and her brother played violin at the restaurant’s Chinese New Year events, symptoms related to her gastroschisis had returned and a few days later she was back in a hospital bed.

Gabriella had to have surgery to remove some of the scar tissue built up around her intestines, which doctors said was causing her severe pain, but unfortunately it didn’t solve the problem.

She told Yahoo: “My belly was so bloated – I literally looked like six months pregnant when I woke up every day. It wasn’t good.” After the procedure, she was told there was a “large area of ​​dilated intestines”, which required further surgery. But she decided to delay it for a month in order to take some of her GCSEs Doctors, nurses and her parents tried to persuade her to change her mind, but she was keen to take at least some of her exams and as she had just turned 16 in March. , she signed her own consent form.

Boyd had surgery and later posted a video to TikTok, giving a thumbs up while lip-syncing to popular audio.

“I have a lot of support around me,” she says. “Obviously, it’s sad to say, it’s just another one of those things that just happens. »

Maintaining your daily routine helps a lot, whether it’s practicing self-care like skincare or yoga and journaling. One of Gabriella’s favorite influencers is 22-year-old wellness content creator Fernanda Ramirez, who has gained 1.4 million followers by posting videos.

However, there are times when she starts to feel depressed. “There would be days when I would feel like, ‘Compared to ‘everyone else, why me?’ but then the therapists that I have here have really helped me through it. So we talk about my health and the surgeries I’ve had. Additionally, his family encourages him to maintain a positive mindset. “Gabby is a very positive girl. I always teach her to be positive, keep her head up and keep going,” Virginia says.

Gabriella Boyd's morning routine has gone viral with three million views.  (Credit: Gabriella Boyd / TikTok)Gabriella Boyd's morning routine has gone viral with three million views.  (Credit: Gabriella Boyd / TikTok)

Gabriella Boyd’s morning routine has gone viral with three million views. (Credit: Gabrielle Boyd / TikTok)

A “normal” school day

Gabriella’s school day wasn’t like many others her age. To begin with, she had to take classes at the hospital.

The Chelsea Community Hospital School teaches pediatric patients ages 4-18. Gabriella says that as patients, they are offered the opportunity to take time off and rest to recover instead of going to school. As her GCSEs got closer, Gabriellas says she was “encouraged” to attend classes to prepare for her exams.

Even though her viral video showed Gabriella waking up to start studying at 5 a.m., it’s not her usual routine. She normally gets up between 7 and 9 a.m. when her IV pump – called total parenteral nutrition (TPN) – arrives just in time for breakfast, with nurses watching. Gabrielle says she hasn’t been able to eat much and hasn’t had an appetite for about three weeks. “It took me almost two hours to finish a quarter of a meal, it was crazy,” she says.

After that, she attends hospital school at 10:30 a.m. before a lunch break at 12:30 p.m. Unlike many critics of hospital food, Gabriella says it’s not that bad – when she’s able to eat. “Today for lunch I ordered cauliflower macaroni. For dinner I ordered chicken, cheese, bacon, vegetables, mashed potatoes and chocolate custard. It is then the afternoon classes as the school day ends at 3 p.m.

Boyd's room at the hospital was decorated with cards of support.  (Credit: Gabriella Boyd)Boyd's room at the hospital was decorated with cards of support.  (Credit: Gabriella Boyd)

Boyd’s room at the hospital was decorated with cards of support. (Credit: Gabriella Boyd)

Exam time

Gabriella’s version of an exam room is on the second floor of the hospital, which she describes as a “glass hangar” with a round table and comfortable chairs. She benefits from access arrangements that allow her a break. “I know the supervisor very well,” she said. “So when we take our little break, we just chat and it just doesn’t feel like an exam.”

She describes herself as academic and artistic, while her grades are generally 7, 8 and 9, the equivalent of A, A* and A**. She sings and knows how to play the violin. She is bright and attended Newstead Wood School, a selective girls’ grammar school in Orpington, Kent. She went to the last day of her high school to say goodbye to her friends and teachers. She said: “I painted on my Leavers shirt and everything. It was just a really beautiful day. I literally spent all day signing shirts.

“Gabby deserves better”

Her family often comes to visit and recently her grandparents traveled from Hong Kong. Her mother says she comes Monday through Wednesday, but on other days the restaurant is very busy.

Gabriella Boyd with her grandparents from Hong Kong.Gabriella Boyd with her grandparents from Hong Kong.

Gabriella Boyd with her grandparents from Hong Kong. (Credit: Gabriella Boyd)

Speaking to Yahoo, her mother choked up while talking about the struggle her marriage and her daughter have been going through, saying: “Gabby deserves better.” She said: “This is not a normal thing for a little girl who has been through so much. »

“It’s really hard,” she says, while acknowledging that she learned to be stronger from her daughter.

“Suddenly, like Gabby, we became another level of human.”

Like many girls her age, Gabriella is also a Swiftie, and her parents got her tickets to see the pop megastar this summer. Her mother said: “We bought her a special present, she wants to see Taylor Swift. Our family is unlucky but also very lucky to be able to afford to make her happy.

Gabriella then plans to go to sixth form to study her A Level: “I’m going to take politics, economics, classics and French, and I’ll give up French after Christmas. I’m just doing it because I I like the subject.” After that, his dream is to become his own boss and start his own business.