Information plays an important role in helping come to terms with a myeloma diagnosis and understanding options around treatment, care and living well with myeloma.
Promoting and improving the quality of life and opportunities for patients of the Welsh Spinal Injuries Unit at Llandough Hospital, Cardiff
Wales Air Ambulance covers the whole of Wales every single day. Each year, we attend over 3,500 missions by air and by road, covering rural countryside and our bustling towns and cities.
The Fire Fighters Charity offers specialist, lifelong support for members of the UK fire services community, empowering individuals to achieve mental, physical and social wellbeing throughout their lives.
Andrews Multiple Myeloma
and spinal cord injury
During 2017 Andrew
battled with persistent back
pain which started to disrupt
his quality of life.
Unbeknown to Andrew, this sadly was the beginning of two major challenges that he would have to endure for the remainder of his life.
Prior to Christmas 2017 Andrew was admitted to A&E in Nevil Hall Hospital for emergency investigation into the loss of sensation in his lower limbs, the A&E consultant was quick in suspecting that Andrews presenting Symptoms were due to a condition called Multiple Myeloma, having identified a tumour mass on his spin. This required emergency transfer via Welsh Air Ambulance, to the University Hospital Wales for critical emergency surgery on his spine. The Air Ambulance was stood down and Andrew had to endure a wait for an Ambulance to become available which took over three hours, before he could be transferred to Cardiff to receive the emergency surgery he required.
This extra delay was partially due to increased seasonal drinking incidents, which put higher demands on the Welsh Ambulance Service that day.
It transpired the surgeons had to remove a tumour mass which was diagnosed as the lesser known blood cancer stage III A Oligosecretory IgG Lambda Myeloma and T7 Incomplete paraplegia.
The location and presentation of the Myeloma had caused partial disability and in particular paralysis to his lower limbs.
The resultant 2 challenges were to battle the Myeloma cancer and to be able to walk again.
After the Heath hospital, he spent 6 months at Rookwood Spinal rehab unit in Cardiff, and 6 months post operation he returned home walking, on crutches short distances but having to rely on his wheelchair to mobilise any distance.
His rehab therapy was then transferred to his home town at Brecon War Memorial Hospital Physiotherapy department where he worked hard over the following 24 months with the team of dedicated therapists to achieve his goal of walking again short distances unaided. Andrew was due to consolidate his rehab, by attending an intense rehab course via the firefighter’s charity but was put on hold due to the Covid 19 Pandemic.
Having to shield and work from home throughout the pandemic, Andrew never stopped his rehab and continued to do his rehab exercises from home, ever hopeful that one day he might resume operational duties for the Fire brigade.
Andrews life thereafter involved regular ongoing treatments and he was keen to learn about his illness and help develop new treatments as there is no known cure for Multiple Myeloma currently.
He fought Myeloma and took on his rehab head on with great bravery and strength of character, whilst always seeking to protect his loved ones from the wider picture.
Not even Andrews family and closest friends were aware during his illness of how he was actually suffering and what he was going through, he was selfless and didn’t want to be treated any differently.
As a passionate and proud member of the Fire Brigade, Andrew was always a strong supporter of the Fire Fighters Charity who provide invaluable support to Fire men and woman across the country.
The Air Ambulance was also close to Andrew’s heart as an invaluable service and support to those needing urgent care across Wales.
This memorial has been set up in Andrews memory, by his family and friends to raise awareness and any funds possible to support his charities. All donations will be gratefully received. His Memorial will leave a lasting legacy for his two sons Ryan and Ioan.
Andrew returned to his roll as Fire Safety Officer, initially working from home and the Office, then the pandemic struck and he had to work from home as he was in the shielded group of workers due to his Multiple Myeloma, he returned to the office two weeks after shielding was lifted, and sadly contracted Covid -
He was admitted to Hospital in the Grange and after a three-
Passionate life member of Brecon Rugby Football Club – Player, Coach, Ref, Committee member.
Passionate Liverpool FC Supporter.
All round sports man, loved playing and watching Rugby, Football, Golf, Cricket, Darts, Quotes.
He was a member of the scouts, and enjoyed the outdoors, hill walking in the Brecon Beacons National Parks. The first and last time we were to Walk with Andrew after being paralysed from the waist down was up Mynydd Illtud Jan 2021, where we meet friend Des Lally and had a good chat where Andrew discussed his plans to eventually be strong enough on his feet to walk up Pen y Fan again, and raise some money and awareness for the charities close to his heart. Some weeks after Andrew Passed, Des contacted Lisa to have pay his respects and had a chat about the encounter on Mynydd Illtu with Andrew and myself, and asked me how the family would feel about him helping them to arrange a charity rugby match on top of Pen Y Fan in Andrews memory based on his last conversation with Andrew.
So was born the idea of a 24-
A proud family man, who spent a lot of his spare time in his childhood and adult life spent his with his immediate family.
He was passionate about music, he attended big concerts on a regular basis, always with a radio on in the background, regular listener to Ken Bruce Pop Master and you would hear him chuckling to Wynn Evans Show directly after Pop Master.
He was also a passionate blood donor and was on the organ donation register. In his death he donated his stem cells to Myeloma UK research, and his Medical Records to the lead Scientist heading up the Research into fire fighter’s safety Anna Sec.
Second to his diagnosis of Multiple Myeloma and Spinal cord injury, Andrew was devastated to find out that he would no longer be able to donate his blood, he gave over 30 pints of blood in his lifetime and was gutted he would not make his 100-
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