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Illness, injury and personal heartache fail to deter Laura Rafferty-Trow
A woman whose life was shattered when a virus left her partially deaf is to sing in a special concert in York.
Laura Rafferty-Trow, 28, of Kirkby Grindalythe, near Malton, is performing Climb Every Mountain in the De Costa Academy’s 25th anniversary concert at the Guildhall tonight.
She told The Press she has had more than a few mountains to climb in her own life since being left deaf in one ear after contracting meningitis B nearly ten years ago.
As we reported at the time, the former York College student had her dreams of attending Sandhurst and gaining a commission with the army shattered after contracting the virus in 2003.
But she has since gone on to study equine management at Askham Bryan College before getting a job as a professional horse rider and stud manager.
In her early 20s, Laura suffered a prolapse and was on 24 pills a day at one point to help manage the pain before undergoing an operation on her spine.
Last year, Laura fell off a horse and landed on her head which triggered a transient ischaemic attack, a kind of mini-stroke, which has mercifully left her with few side-affects other than being quite absent-minded.
However, she said her marriage broke down a month later and she is now separated from her husband.
Laura now teaches riding at weekends and works at Spectrum Solicitors in Malton as an acquisitions manager and says that throughout the trials and tribulations of the last decade her singing has been a constant source of joy.
“Over the past ten years I have had a few mountains to climb, but my singing teacher, Michael De Costa, believed in my voice when no one else did and my singing has kept me going in the dark times.
“When I first started I couldn’t sing in tune because of my hearing, but my hard work has paid off and I have recently sung my first operatic lead as Mimi in a concert version of La Boheme at the Guildhall.
“I would love to repay Michael’s hard work and loyalty and am looking forward to Saturday’s performance.”
The Guildhall performance starts at 7.30pm. Tickets are available on the door or from the academy, based in York’s Marygate Tower, on 01904 610341.