Diagnosed with cerebral palsy at birth years ago, doctors initially said Josiah Atiba Mandela Thomas might never walk or talk.
Today, however, Thomas, now 18, a former student of Rio Claro East Secondary School, Trinidad and Tobago, is celebrating attaining six subjects in the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC).
Beating the odds has not been an easy task for him but Josiah has proven that he has the strength, determination and will power to overcome his challenges.
He received Grade 1 in Information Technology, Grade Two in Integrated Science and Principles of Business and Grade Three in English, Principle of Accounts and Clothing and Textile. He did not pass Mathematics but intends to repeat English and Maths, as well as pursue A-Levels in Information Technology.
Thomas thanked his teachers, teaching aid, friends and family for their support, but said his mother Sharon Thomas, 57, has been the driving force behind his success. When he was born, Josiah could not move his hands, which were curled against his chest and his feet were positioned in a peculiar angle. He has since undergone four surgeries, a dental surgery, speech therapy and physiotherapy.
Thomas attended the Princess Elizabeth Centre in Woodbrook and then at age six was enrolled in the Poole RC Primary School in Rio Claro. About a month before his CSEC exams, however, he fell, chipped the bone in his ankle and had to wear a cast.