A teenager from Sheffield has dedicated his stunning GCSE success to the memory of his beloved sister – who died tragically earlier this year.
Zach Smith, aged 16, achieved 11 A* passes plus a further best possible A grade in his exams at Birkdale School.
But celebrations at the family home in Bannercross Road in Ecclesall were shared with memories of 12-year-old Gabrielle, who drowned following a suspected seizure while she was taking a bath.
Zach called an ambulance after her best friend raised the alarm.
“It’s been a tough year for us after what happened to Gabi,” Zach said.
“The accident happened before the exams started and it was a really sad time.
“I didn’t really want to work over the period of the Easter holidays, which was when many of my friends were all busy with their revision.
“But I had the support of my friends and family, they all really helped as I tried to focus and get through it.
“I did then throw myself into my revision, it was an escape as I thought about nothing much else.”
Zach said he knew Gabi would have been very proud of him.
“But there was always a competitive thing between us – she would have said ‘well done – but I’m going to do even better when it’s my turn’!
“She’s been in my thoughts a lot, because I know how happy she would have been.”
Zach said his late father Duncan, who died two years ago, would also have been thrilled with his results.
“My mum Faye and I had a bit of a party yesterday after we heard the news.
“I was more relieved than excited really, as I’d been a bit worried about it all,” he added.
Zach will now be going into the Birkdale sixth form to study A-levels in history, maths, further maths, Latin and religious education.