Student’s ‘hospital dash’ to sit exam

Brave student, Domingos Puto (28), is to graduate with a Master of Engineering from Robert Gordon University at 2.30pm on Friday 10 December.

Domingos PutoDomingos, from Angola, who previously studied for a mechanical degree at the country's Universidade Agostinho Neto, and an English course in Oxford, was awarded a scholarship by Angolan oil company SONANGOL, to study at Robert Gordon University. Despite knowing very little of Aberdeen, apart from its powerful position in the oil and gas industry, Domingos felt immediately at home.

Despite Domingos' impressive academic performance and commitment, medical problems interrupted his studies on several occasions. Shortly after his exams in January 2008, Domingos underwent a chest operation in London, forcing him to take time out during his second year of study.

Fortunately, Domingos was given the opportunity to submit his coursework and take his exams during the summer re-sit period in 2008, which meant he had to prepare for them during the summer holidays.

Domingos explains, "It was a very difficult and stressful time. Most of my friends were away on holiday and only a few of them were in Aberdeen at the time. However, they provided me with much needed support. As a Christian my strong belief in God helped me and I also found encouragement by knowing that many people were praying for me. I sat the exams in August after submitting my coursework, achieving distinction."

However, Domingos appeared to be out of luck when history repeated itself and he was admitted to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary in January 2009 with the same chest condition, just two days before his exam. Although he was fully prepared for the exam, the hospital wanted to monitor him for at least four days. Remarkably, on the morning of his exam, medical staff allowed Domingos to go, under the provision that he returned immediately afterwards. Defeating all odds, he again proved his capabilities, achieving an A.

Despite the challenges, Domingos endured and made the most of his time at Robert Gordon University, getting involved in many team activities and even coaching the University's five-a-side Angolan football team.

He concludes, "University has been a great experience for me. I've learnt many things beyond the academic aspects of the course and have met many people from different places, faiths, and walks of life."

"I plan to go back to Angola where I have a job lined up with my sponsoring company, SONANGOL."

Shade-anne Waddell
Communications Assistant
Robert Gordon University
AB10 1FR
Tel: 01224 262206
Mob: 07970 622229