UK’s First Deafblind Person Training to be a Doctor | TEDx Speaker
Alexandra is the UK’s first deafblind person training to be a Doctor. As someone who is ‘different’ to most people in the field, due to her disabilities, she has experienced setback, misjudgement, and discrimination, both in her professional and personal life. After documenting these experiences, through her blog, and various small-scale talks, Alexandra quickly went on to addressing these issues of stereotyping and lack of inclusion through far bigger educational talks and advocacy roles, with her first major talk being a TED talk, TEDxNHS, in October 2019.
From there, Alexandra continued delivering talks both nationally and internationally, with the hope of helping to promote culture change and disability awareness to the wider world and workplace. These talks have ranged from local government events, to global medical conferences, appearing on podcasts and radio channels, national news programmes and daytime television. Her biggest in-person talk to date has been at Wembley Arena, in front of an audience of 16,000 people, alongside well-known stars such as Jamie Oliver, Idris Elba, Gwendoline Christie and Lewis Hamilton, to name but a few, for WE Day, early 2020.
Like for many of us, Alexandra’s life then changed drastically after this, when, during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, she ended up bedridden in hospital for 17 months, juggling life, death, and a handful of rare disease diagnoses. Despite having to take 2.5 years out of medical school, and learning to walk, and live again, all whilst she overcame illness, Alexandra now also talks about her experiences as a patient and how this has influenced her future practice as a Doctor, passionate about patient advocacy, mental health, and healthcare improvement.
Alexandra remains a positive and optimistic role-model who strongly believes that, with hard work and self-belief, anything is possible. Her background of being a GB athlete in 2 different sports, prior to her Medicine journey, has equipped her with the necessary stamina, perseverance, and resilience, in knowing that the biggest and best goals come with a lot of time, and hard work. Life might not always turn out the way in which we plan it, and there will be many obstacles that we will have to contend with along the way, but Alexandra’s one clear message is that, it can be done, and that with a goal, a dream, self-belief, and the yearn to try, rather than fail to try, the impossible is very much possible.