AVUK Young Ambassador Dhyana Gopal is celebrating winning a coveted university place to study medicine - thirteen years after graduating from the AVUK family-centred specialist therapy programme.

Dhyana attended the AVUK programme for three years until she graduated aged five with speaking and listening skills equivalent to that of a seven-year-old. Now she has achieved fantastic results at Higher Level English Literature, Biology and Chemistry in her International Baccalaureate exams, and will take up her place at the  University of East Anglia, Norwich, to study medicine in September.

The teenager explained: “I am so excited about starting my degree this year and being able to continue to grow and flourish, without letting my deafness hold me back. This has been made possible because of the truly inspirational work of Auditory Verbal UK .

“AVUK has become an integral part of our lives and has impacted me in the most positive way. Because of AVUK I am more confident and independent today. Alongside my academic education, I am able to appreciate and enjoy music and dance, and I am a grade 5 violinist. I have also completed the Bronze and Silver Duke of Edinburgh awards, and I have travelled internationally on my own. Most importantly, I believe that AVUK has given me the chance to be an outgoing young adult who can embrace the same opportunities as my hearing peers, and who can believe in my dreams. For this, I will always be grateful to AVUK.”

Dhyana’s younger brother Khush (11) was also born profoundly deaf and attended the AVUK programme. Their mum, Bhavika, explained: “We have been on an incredible journey and are extremely proud of Dhyana and Khush. AVUK gave both my children a solid foundation in their spoken language and listening skills when they were young. This has allowed them to access and achieve independently and confidently in a mainstream society, alongside their hearing peers. We are immensely grateful to all the professionals who have supported us along the way”.

Dhyana added: “AVUK has opened up a world of opportunities for my brother and I, and all deaf children should know this, and have the opportunity to benefit from the amazing and truly life changing work that AVUK does.”