Peggy Styles, an 86-year-old grandmother from Somerset, has become the oldest person to graduate from the University of Bristol.
After studying for eight years, Styles received her EdD - the equivalent to a a PhD, but for educational professionals - earlier this week.
Remarkably, Styles completed her EdD after putting her studies on hold for 18 months because of a life-threatening kidney infection.
"I was so ill that I nearly died," she told the University's website. "I was in hospital for a month and had to learn to walk again. The University was absolutely super and agreed to suspend my studies until I felt better. I was determined to finish my doctorate."
Styles lost her husband John last year, just as she was putting the finishing touches to her 48,000-word dissertation. Titled "Old Wives Tales? Changing my Perception of the World," it partly focused on changing attitudes towards the education of women that took place during Styles's lifetime.
"I was young during wartime and going to university wasn’t really on anyone’s agenda at all. Life was quite different," she told the University's website. "Although the post-war period is still within living memory, culture has changed so much. This is one of the reasons I wanted to write about how society's attitude towards the education of women has gradually changed."
"I was lucky that the University of Bristol took me on for my postgraduate certificate and diploma in the 90s, especially as I had no A-levels," Styles continued. "After that I think I got slightly addicted to learning and the University has become like a second home. What I’ll miss most is my fellow students and tutors – they've all been so nice."
Styles was accompanied to Wednesday's graduation ceremony by her daughter, son-in-law, and three grandsons. "I’d keep studying forever if I could," she said shortly before receiving her doctorate.