By Matthew Gooding
Friday, September 6, 2013
A STUDENT whose older brother died just after returning from his gap year has spoken of her joy at being able to follow in his footsteps and study at the university he called his “spiritual home”.
Tristan Clark graduated with a 2:1 in law from the University of East Anglia (UEA), Norwich, in 2012 and then spent time in New Zealand. He died on March 22 after a blood clot moved to his lung shortly after he had returned home to his family in Foxton.
A coroner’s report said nothing could have been done to save him.
His sister Florence, 18, applied to study medicine at UEA before his death, and Tristan sent her interview advice from New Zealand.
After receiving a conditional offer, she visited the university’s campus on an applicants’ day and sent her brother a photo of its learning resource centre via Facebook.
Although he was still on the other side of the world, he replied almost instantly with the words “My spiritual home. Enjoy it, sister”.
When the A-level results came out Florence, a student at Hills Road Sixth Form College in Cambridge, was thrilled when she learned that her two A* and two A grades had earned her a place at the same university her brother had gone to.
She said: “I was so relieved and happy and we were also quite emotional because Tristan was not there, and usually he would have been at that kind of occasion. He would have been very pleased.
“We were crying for all sorts of different reasons.
“It feels really special to me because I can now live a bit of what he lived.
“Quite a few of his friends have told us about the clubs and bars he went to and some of the stories of what happened there, so I will be able to go there and experience it too. It’s really special for me to be able to do that.”
The Clark family praised the support they have received from the UEA since Tristan’s death, and are in discussions about establishing a Tristan Clark Trust Fund for the most improved law student every year.
As reported in The Crow, Florence has been nominated for a Young People of the Year award for her efforts raising funds for the East Anglian Air Ambulance, which was called out to treat her brother. She has already raised about £16,000, and this Sunday will be running the Grunty Fen half-marathon in Tristan’s memory.
To sponsor her, visit www.justgiving.com/florence-clark1.