Graduation 17.04.24

Seriously injured father earns new career after achieving first-class degree from Salford

A father who lost his career after damaging his back has transformed his life with a First-Class degree from the University of Salford.

Matthew Livesey, from Warrington, used to play rugby until he suffered two ruptured discs at the bottom of his spine. He needed six hours of surgery to even be able to walk again and was left unable to continue with his career as a manager in retail. Further subsequent operations including having a spinal cord stimulator fitted. The injury means he has severe nerve damage and chronic pain that will have to be managed for the rest of his life.

With four kids to provide for, he needed to find a new career. So he decided to start a degree in Computer Networking at Salford. And after three years of hard work he graduated today with a First Class Degree and has already found a job in his chosen field.

Matthew said: “It was my dream to get a first, I’m so proud of myself for dealing with everything and still coming out with that. My wife has been my rock through it all.

“Going back to uni after so long was daunting enough but on top of everything else, with my family and my injury was tough at times. When the accident happened my legs were numb and I couldn’t walk. There was no way I could carry on it retail.

“The biggest hurdle was the mental side of recovery l. It was a delayed reaction, you begin to realise what you’ve been through. I suffered from depression and anxiety. But the staff were so supportive, I can’t thank the lecturers and staff enough.”

Thanks for his degree Matthew has already landed a job with Phoenix Medical Supplies, working in their IT department.

Matthew added: “Coming to Salford has got me exactly what I wanted and I now have a work life balance that I’ll be able to cope with for the rest of my life.”

Faiz Jathwa, Matthew’s tutor at Salford, said: “Mathew's journey is truly inspiring, a testament to his resilience and determination. Confronted with significant health challenges, he navigated adversity with unwavering resolve.

“His triumphant achievement of a First Class (Hons) in Computer Networking reflects not only his academic achievements but also his extraordinary perseverance. Matthew's story is a beacon of motivation for us all, showcasing the incredible outcomes that stem from a resilient and determined mindset."