Proud moments for Lyalls on graduation day

A Sandwick family enjoyed a graduation day with a difference when a father and his daughter were recognised together.

Andrew Lyall and his daughter Emily both obtained degrees from Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen, 20 years apart.

But Andrew did not attend his graduation ceremony and Emily had to postpone hers due to illness.

This made the event on 13th July, attended by the extended family, all the more special.

Emily, 22, studied applied social sciences at university and was halfway through her dissertation in her final year when she started to feel ill. She struggled to carry on but eventually “fell apart”.

Later she was diagnosed with pernicious anaemia, not common in young people, and now has monthly vitamin B12 injections.

Emily said: “I was determined to go back.” She told her story in a blog which has been very well received.

Although she delayed finishing her course, she was rewarded with a 2.1 degree and is now on a two-year apprenticeship with Shetland Islands Council. She started her time working in Annsbrae and hopes to go back there.

Andrew, 45, obtained a degree in building surveying in 1997, but a job interview in Edinburgh (unsuccessful) meant missed his graduation ceremony.

He said: “Year in year out RGU asked me to graduate.” But it never happened until it was Emily’s turn.

For both of them the graduation at His Majesty’s Theatre was special.

Emily said: “It was really cool to graduate with my father. It made it a bit more special because I’d missed it with my friends [the previous year]. It gave it a different meaning.”

Andrew, now head of assets and business support at Shetland Recreational Trust, said: “It was very special, one of those moments you didn’t think would ever happen. It was a lovely opportunity to do something together, a real family day.”


Add Your Comment
  • Andrea MacArthur

    • July 31st, 2017 11:05

    Well done to you both, and great to hear Emily that your doctor is giving you monthly injections for your PA. This is very unusual, even although it is entirely appropriate. Most people are restricted to 3-monthly injections which leave them just clinging to life and no more, and continuing to deteriorate. Even monthly is often not sufficient to remain stable.


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