SIMON Stones clutches his GCSE results with pride.

The 16-year-old gained 10 A* and six As, a superb achievement but made all the more remarkable given that he has been battling with crippling medical conditions.

Simon, from Westhoughton, was diagnosed with arthritis at the age of three and forced him to take time off from lessons at St Joseph’s RC School in Horwich.

And during Year Nine he was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease which meant he missed more than eight weeks of school, including his SATs exams.

But determined to do well, the school organised for home tutoring to ensure he would not fall behind. He said: “Despite my illness, I have done what I wanted to do, which is why I’ve got where I am today.”