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28 Jun

Andrew did not choose to die. He chose to never give up hope and live fully with each new day. Seeing Andrew’s strength in conquering the biggest battle of his young life broke his dad and my heart, as we could do nothing about it. As parents, we were supposed to be able to say it is going to be fine, and we can do it, we are with you in this. Deep down, we never give up hope, because Andrew never did, right to his last day on planet earth. In his cancer journey, families, friends and people who loved him and cared about him, including the health care team involved in his total care, surrounded him. He was also very much cared for by the prayers from people who don’t know him.  Andrew showed me the strength, the faith and hope of the human spirit. This is what inspired me in writing Beyond Courage.

Background story

On hindsight we tend to be wiser and look at things in a more rational and logical way. Life is more spontaneous than that and this happens to every one of us.

If there were a particular instance where I could point out, where the story Beyond Courage begins, would be a netball event in May 2007. Andrew twisted and sustained a left ankle sprain, a soft tissue injury. Although it did not seem like anything sinister at that time, injuries do happen, especially in contact sports.

Andrew hasn’t long been playing mixed netball in his girlfriend’s team, so this was very exciting for him as well, learning a new sport. After recovering from this injury, he continued to play over the next few months. However over these periods, he had hyper- extended and twisted his left knee on a couple of occasions. From here on, Andrew was experiencing some pain on his left knee area, which he had on and off. Although, he had mentioned it, we thought and put it down to prior injuries sustained. Although it seemed like an annoyance at that time, it did not stop Andrew continuing playing netball.  Basically he was not one to complain or fuss over things.  Andrew was encouraged and went to see our local doctor on the 19th July 2007. By this time it was around 5 weeks, where his left knee pain had not gone away. The doctor’s examinations and findings were reported as unremarkable. So we thought all was well. However an x-ray of his left knee done, reported of a meniscus tear. Andrew was limping a bit by that time, and I suspected he was in a bit of pain too. He was referred to an orthopaedic specialist on the 28th July 2007. He saw the orthopaedic specialist on the 1st August 2007, who ordered MRI. On the 11th August 2007 the MRI was done on Andrew’s left knee in the morning. Early that afternoon, we had a telephone call from Andrew’s best friend to say he was in the emergency hospital having sustained a broken left femur. This was our ground zero!

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