A TEENAGER has gained a prestigious place at Oxford University after fighting off a bacterial infection he feared could leave him paralysed.

Isaac Hadfield, who suffered agonising back pain after returning from a trip to Kenya, spent two months in hospital and missed half a year of college.

Isaac, 19, of Barton on Sea, had to use a Zimmer frame and also wore a back brace for a year.

But the inspirational Brockenhurst College student has triumphed against all the odds by achieving excellent A Level results - three A*s and an A.

Now he is heading off to Oxford to study politics, economics and philosophy.

Isaac is thought to have contracted the Salmonella-type infection while doing voluntary work in Kenya in the summer of 2015.

Shortly after completing his four-week visit to Africa he began to suffer from severe back pain and was admitted to the Royal Bournemouth Hospital.

Isaac said: "I spent a total of two months in hospital and ended up missing about six months of college. I studied in the hospital itself - it wasn't easy but I had to make it work."

The teenager recovered after receiving a course of antibiotics but lost a spinal disc as a result of the infection and now faces a lifetime of pain.

He said: "I think the infection was caused by something I ate. It spread to my back and could have left me paralysed if it had attacked my spinal cord."

Isaac's illness meant it took him an extra year to complete his four A Level courses.

His parents, Mark and Caroline Hadfield, said he began to suffer from terrible back pain within days of returning from Kenya.

Caroline said: "It got so bad I had to call an ambulance.

"When the crew arrived he was lying on the floor, unable to move. He was given pain relief and placed on a stretcher, and when he came home from hospital he using a Zimmer frame.

"We're extremely proud of what Isaac has accomplished - it's an incredible achievement.

"I think his experiences in Kenya helped. Unlike many of the people he saw out there he had the chance to do what we wanted and that made him more determined."

Barton councillor Alan O'Sullivan added: "He has shown amazing determination to come through all the adversity and get good grades."

Isaac was among the students congratulated by the principal, Di Roberts, when they arrived at the college yesterday to open the all-important white envelopes.

Mrs Roberts said: "I am delighted yet again with our A Level and Vocational results and am tremendously proud of our students' achievements.

"This is a great day of celebration for us all and I wish all the students who leave us today every success for the future."