Award-winning clinical physiology student graduates

Published: 9 November 2009 at 14:25

Matt overcomes all odds to specialise in an area of healthcare close to his heart.

Matt Rutter, a BSc (Hons) Clinical Physiology student from the Faculty of Health & Social Care at Anglia Ruskin University who works at Addenbrooke’s hospital has graduated (on 12 November) a decade since receiving life saving treatment for leukaemia.

Matt battled back from leukemia and now works in the same unit where he was once a patient.

The 26-year old, who was named Young Healthcare Scientist 2008 in a national healthcare awards ceremony after being nominated by colleagues and patients at the Addenbrooke's lung function unit, said:

“Since finishing my degree I’ve been working full time in the lung function lab at Addenbrooke’s hospital, a place which is clearly very close to my heart (and lungs!).”

“In fact, I have only recently returned to work as I was off for most of September having a second pneumothorax (a lung collapse, causing chest pain and making breathing difficult) requiring surgery, which meant that I had to go off to Harefield in London.”

“Thankfully I’m now back and up to full speed again and will be able to celebrate my graduation, a day which will recognise four years of work.  It will be a day that I will truly enjoy.”

Matt is already planning the next thing in his life, to undertake post-graduate degree studies, although the subject area is still to be decided.

Looking back at the last few years, Matt comments:

“It was overwhelming to be nominated for the healthcare award, and my graduation now makes this period in my life a double-edged celebration.”

Matt was diagnosed with leukemia aged 15.  A regular visitor to Addenbrooke's lung function unit, Matt's dream was to work there as a physiologist and following a week's work experience he was offered a job.
As a clinical respiratory physiologist, Matt works with patients suffering from a wide range of conditions, all of which have an impact on their lung function. Carrying out a variety of tests, to measure lung capacity, for example, the work he does helps doctors diagnose and prescribe the right course of treatment.

Matt concludes:

“I feel very happy that I have such a rewarding job and that I have now proved myself in terms of my career potential by completing my degree. I do have a few projects ongoing at the minute; and after my experiences on the degree course, I could ultimately see myself giving something back to others, possibly in a teaching role in the future.”

Matt, originally from Halesworth in Suffolk, currently lives in Cambridge.