As told by his niece, Sarah-Jane
Andre΄ was born May in 1953, brother to Gordon and Ralph, who was also affected and spent much of his early childhood in hospital through his haemophilia: early family photo albums have ‘Andre’ at home after 2 weeks in hospital’ written beside them. His passion for football was insatiable and it was through both this which saw his slow demise into joint fusion and repetitive bleeds. Andre, unlike Ralph, had massive trust for his haemophilia care unit, and had a good relationship with his nurses and consultant. My Dad often told me “Andre’ was pretty good at getting treatment for bleeds – not like me” – unfortunately it was misplaced trust as he was contaminated with HIV. Unlike his brother’s miraculous ability to clear Hep C, Andre lost his battle in 1995. Although my memories of my beloved uncle are biased (a nieces love) I can remember that he loved life, travelled and was an inspirational man. I only wish he could have lived to have seen me get married and have children, he’d have loved my boys!
Andre’ left behind his dad, two brothers and his niece, and we still to this day believe that it was the death of Andre which saw us sadly lose Granddad a few years later. No father should have to bury their child! We still to this day believe the reason behind Andre’s desire to not settle down was a direct result of his HIV status – he knew that committing to a wife or children would only eventually bring heartache! Robert and Andrew know only of ‘Uncle Andy’ through photos, I have more precious memories which still pain me to this day. Sitting and bandaging knee bleeds while I watched football with him are one of my favourites. I also sadly remember our last day out when he took me to the cinema – he was so poorly that he kept leaving to the toilet to be violently ill; at 13 I was oblivious. At 32, my heart breaks at this memory! My mom tells me that when she asked Andy to be my godfather he broke down into tears…his reaction “I’m not good enough for her – she won’t love me with this HIV” – my mom gave him an ear bashing for that and he couldn’t have been more wrong – my hero who couldn’t do no wrong! Still today! Wherever you are I hope you and my Dad are looking down on us all together xxx