Health care inspires teen
Role model: Brittany Seaton and nurse Debbie Tunbridge. Picture: Ian Munro/The West Australian

Brittany Seaton may still be a few weeks off starting her nursing degree, but the 17-year-old already has an intimate knowledge of how hospitals work.

The Collie teenager has endured countless hospital visits since being diagnosed with hypermobility, reflex sympathetic dystrophy and juvenile arthritis as a child.

The conditions have caused her constant pain, making simple tasks such as showering difficult and resulting in a lot of missed schooling.

Through her frequent trips to Perth for treatment, Brittany has developed a close bond with Princess Margaret Hospital rheumatology clinical nurse specialist Debbie Tunbridge.

Her decision to enrol in nursing was inspired by Ms Tunbridge and the team of medical professionals who have cared for her over the past seven years.

"I have really got to know Debbie, not only as a nurse but also as a friend," Brittany said. "After spending so much time at the hospital I really want to help other kids who are in the same position."

She received a $5000 grant yesterday from the Ronald McDonald House Charlie Bell Scholarship program to support her studies.

The program gives young people who have experienced a serious illness the help they need to fulfil their career dreams.

She will start her degree at Curtin University on March 3 and hopes to eventually complete a post-graduate medicine degree.

The West Australian

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