Cody Logan will have quite a lot to be proud of when he officially graduates from paramedicine in a few weeks' time.
Not only did the 21-year-old Orange High School graduate recently complete his studies in a subject that's far from easy - and thereby become the first person in his whole extended family to finish university - he achieved all of this under very trialling circumstances.
During the final stages of Mr Logan's high school education, his mum contracted cancer and then his house burnt down. It was the second time that such an accident had befallen his family, with them also losing everything to a housefire when he was 13.
When it happened the second time, Mr Logan was studying for his HSC while looking after his mum. In addition to her 2017 cancer diagnosis, she was still recovering from a horrible injury in 2009 which had left her with a broken back.
On finishing school, while he had the grades to pursue his doctor dream, moving away from home and his family wasn't an option, so he embarked on paramedicine study instead - which was offered at the Bathurst campus of Charles Sturt University.
"I always wanted to go... into a medical degree of some sort, [with the] goal eventually to become a doctor or physician, specialising in cardiology, [in order to] bring those health services out to regional and rural communities," he explained.
"[I want to try] and bring health and equity up, essentially, in these areas and make it more available to individuals that maybe need those services but can't or are unable to travel to larger metropolitan areas."
While Orange's health services were often touted as the best in western NSW, time spent as a student paramedic in both rural and metropolitan areas had taught Mr Logan that the differences in access between the two was stark.
It was an experience that further inspired him to start his career in regional medicine, and to also try to encourage other graduates to do likewise.
"It was really [interesting] to see the discrepancies in the access to health services from Kogarah which is in central Sydney.... to Griffith... and even in Orange, and to see how... [that] significantly impacts individual health," he said.
"Like, the elements that we see in Kogarah were completely different to the ones that we see out in the bush. People suffer from chronic conditions just because they don't have the access to health services."
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