Here is the truly amazing story about Pete Freeman (AAT Distance Learning Student studying with Accountancy Learning) who triumphed against all the odds…
Whilst on holiday in Greece in May 2015, Pete fell from a fourth floor balcony onto solid concrete. He doesn’t remember anything from the fall and was unconscious for 3 weeks.
Pete had fractured his right ankle, right knee, right femur, pelvis, both arms, ribs, collar bone and jaw. He also had some internal injuries to his spleen and kidney as well as losing enough blood to put his life seriously at risk.
In total he spent 5 weeks in Crete, having multiple operations, putting metalwork into his arms, legs and recreating his jaw, after which he was taken by stretcher on a plane back the UK for another 5 weeks in hospital in Plymouth.
Throughout all of this he somehow kept positive. Despite the pain and the numerous hospital appointments, he managed to maintain not just a positive attitude, but a keen ambition. He clearly decided to do something worthwhile with the spare time he had in-between physiotherapy, resting and hospital appointments.
Before his accident Pete had worked in restaurant and retail management but had always enjoyed the accountancy side to the roles. He realised he would probably never be able to stand for long enough to go back to his previous line of work. After much soul searching, he decided that studying AAT would give him the necessary skills to find a job in accountancy (once he had recovered from his injuries).
Despite his body being broken; despite having to go through a series of seemingly interminable operations; despite being in pain most days for most of the day, what clearly was not broken was his spirit, his ambition and his determination to succeed.
A New Career Path
So, in April 2016 (within one year of nearly dying), Pete started on his AAT adventure with the AAT Level 2 Certificate in Accounting. Having successfully completed AAT Level 2 within two months, he then progressed onto the AAT Level 3 Diploma in Accounting on 1 June 2016.
During his AAT studies, Pete had to go back to hospital for multiple operations on his leg and jaw and had also been admitted twice via A+E because of the infection in his knee. These led to hospital stays of over three weeks.
Even this did not dampen his spirits. He managed to turn the space close to his hospital bed into a study area and even persuaded the nurses to allow him to leave hospital (in-between IV antibiotic doses) with a cannula protruding out his arm, in order to take an exam.
Because of Pete’s attitude and clear ability, when we were unable to access funding for his Level 4, we provided the course to him for free and employed him part time to help proof read our learning materials (reviewing them from a student’s perspective). On 3 November 2016, Pete progressed onto the AAT Professional (Level 4) Diploma in Accounting and he now only has his Business Tax exam left to complete! So, by the end of May 2017 (13 months later), Pete will have passed Levels 2, 3 and 4 and will be an MAAT – with an Accountancy career ahead of him!
It was difficult not to be impressed by Pete’s cheerful attitude, his determination and his ambition.
He is also a really nice guy – and now, a great employee!
We have plenty of students who find all sorts of excuses to avoid studying (some completely understandable, but others less so!)
Not only has Pete been able to study, (still on crutches) he will have been able to complete all three levels in just over a year – and not just complete, but achieved marks of 88%, 99% and 100% in his first three Level 4 exams and as of today, we’ve just found out that Pete passed his Synoptic exam (Personal Tax result pending). Wow!
But The Story Doesn’t End There…
We weren’t the only ones to be so impressed with Pete – a few months ago we nominated him for the AAT Distance Learning Student of the Year Award, and last week, we were all absolutely thrilled to hear that Pete WON the Award.
And in Pete’s own words:
“It has been an absolute honour and a surprise to be both nominated and to win this award. I couldn’t have done this without the support of my family, my training provider Accountancy Learning and pure grit and determination. I recommend anyone facing difficulties to give AAT a go. There is a lot of support out there and the qualification has the potential to get you far in life.”
HUGE Congratulations Pete on a very well deserved award!
P.S. Not only did Pete win an award, but our Tutor Neil Montgomery won the AATs Lifetime Achievement Award and Accountancy Learning won the AAT Champion Award (awarded to training providers who demonstrate excellence in all areas)