The memory of her much-loved father has helped a teenager to achieve exam success.
Emily McKerill, from South Shields, was devastated when dad Paul lost his four-year battle with cancer, two years ago. He was 52.
I think my dad would be proud of me - I just wish he was here to see them.Emily McKerill
But despite her heartache the teenager was determined to do well in her exams.
And her years of remaining focused and study has paid off after achieving an A* in Biology, Chemistry, Further Maths, Geography, History, Physics and Religious Studies and an A in Spanish.
The St Wilfrid’s RC College pupil also achieved the top mark of a level 9 in Maths, an 8 in English Language and 6 in English Literature.
The 16-year-old aims to stay on at St Wilfrid’s where she will study Chemistry, Biology, Maths and Further Maths at A-Level.
Emily who hopes to one day become a paediatrician said: “I have never been as stressed as I have in the run up to the exams. At times I felt like I was losing my mind - it was really intense.
“I’m really happy with my results and I think my dad would be proud of me - I just wish he was here to see them.
“I took an angel into the exams with me. And when I was struggling, knowing my dad was with me pushed me on.”
Her mum Helen says she couldn’t be more proud of her daughter.
She said: “I couldn’t be more proud of her and I know her dad would have been so proud of her too.
“It has been hard for her losing her dad but she has worked really hard and I think wanting her dad to be proud, has really driven her.
“I asked her where she wanted to go to celebrate and she chose Bravi as that was a place her dad worked on and I think it’s so a part of him can be with there with us celebrating.”
The family celebrated Emily’s GCSE results with a meal at Bravi - a venue that her dad, Paul who run his own joinery firm, fitted out.