BRAVE Lydia Wilkinson, whose mother and brother were killed in an horrific attack at their home, has graduated from university.

Lydia, who lost her mum Tracey and younger brother Pierce when they were stabbed to death at their home in Greyhound Lane, Norton, two years ago, received the loudest cheer of the day as she crossed the stage to collect her degree and graduate from the University of Bristol on July 25.

Just 19 at the time of the tragedy, Lydia was determined to continue her studies and complete her degree after the awful events of March 30, 2017, as her mum had been so proud of her being accepted to study biological sciences at the university.

Lydia, who in her first year of her studies and in her halls of residence when she first heard the devastating news, said: "I did consider taking a year out of university when everything happened.

"But the university supported me every step of the way which allowed me to continue with my degree. To graduate with my friends has been very emotional.

"I have a fantastic support network in Bristol – both friends and lecturers - who have supported me throughout my time here.

"Focusing on my studies provided a huge distraction and sense of stability for me.

"I also wanted to complete my degree for my mum - she was very proud that I had been accepted into Bristol, which also provided a great source of motivation."

Dr Emily Bell, senior teaching associate in the School of Biological Sciences at the university, paid tribute to Lydia – who also won an Alumni Association Student Award for her fundraising efforts last year.

She said Lydia's enduring positive attitude about life and continual pursuit to help others was a "true inspiration" and she added: "We are delighted to see Lydia graduate."

Lydia's father Peter Wilkinson, who made a miraculous recovery after also being stabbed by homeless Aaron Barley in the frenzied unpredicted attack which changed their lives forever, was able to attend the ceremony to celebrate his daughter's achievement in graduating with a 2.1 degree.

While juggling her studies Lydia also raised more than £17,000 for Birmingham Children's Hospital through running the Birmingham Half Marathon in memory of her brother.

Pierce, a pupil at Redhill School, had undergone open heart surgery at the hospital when he was five, and staff there tried in vain to save his life after the attack.

Lydia, whose efforts saw her nominated for a Pride of Britain award, wanted to thank the hospital for saving his life once – and for trying to save him a second time.

Now 21, Lydia plans to continue her studies at Bristol and is due to embark on a master's degree in biomedical sciences in September.