Andrew Metcalf 4 August 1967 – 21 July 2009
I met Andy in 2003 as a mature student coming back into education after he had trodden a number of different paths. He had found himself unemployed, and having learned some web design software, decided to take this further than he had self-taught, although he had already created a website for the British Touring Car Championship – motorsport being another passion. Andy struggled at first, settling in with a group of 16 year olds, and found it frustrating at times, learning new software and studio techniques alongside those who had followed a more direct artistic route to get there. He persevered.
He challenged himself further throughout the first year, but it was at this time he began to show signs of ill-health, raising much concern with his colleagues in the group. When the tumour was diagnosed, many of us feared the worst. But when he strolled into college several months later looking like a frankenstein pirate (he had a gruesome scar and an eyepatch!) I was staggered. To say that he persevered took on a whole new set of dimensions. I followed Andy’s progress as he recovered through radiotherapy and got to know his partner Susan better.
Andy was determined to finish his course and go to university, and so back to college he came in September 2004 and continued to make progress with his sudies and his health – there are few of us who will ever forget the day he regained the sight in his eye! He went on to complete his National Diploma in Graphic Design in June 2006 and was presented with an Award for Special Achievement by the Principal of the college at the Corn Exchange in King’s Lynn. He had also succeeded in securing a place on the BA (Hons) Graphic Design course at Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge.
Shortly after, Andy and Susan were married and I am proud to have shared their special day, but I won’t mention the dodgy dancing to the Celidh band – his, mine or anyone elses!
Over the following year, Andy’s health deteriorated once more and further tumours were dignosed and removed, frustratingly scuppering his chances at university. He had, by this time, lost the sight in both eyes. As I left the hospital one grey evening after his last operation, I wept for a good man as I walked home, angry and impotent at this seemingly pointless injustice and of the path his life had taken.
This time Andy returned home blind and largley incapacitated. With the loving and dedicated care of a devoted wife and the battallion of carers visiting several times a day, he persevered. With the support of his family and friends, as well as the prayers from their church, he persevered. It is fair to say that they all did, Susan especially. Andy made some improvements during this time, giving us signs of hope and displaying the kind of perseverance that would test the very strongest amongst us. The strength of their faith was as strong a medicine as those administered intravenously.
Andy persevered until the last, and we should hold on to that thought as Susan, their families and friends persevere through the difficult time of grief ahead.
Rest in peace Andy, you will be missed, but not forgotten.