Andy Williamson leaning over a bannister at Darley Dale School, Derbyshire, December 1988.
Yesterday I got an email from my good friend Steve alerting me to the blog post of another friend from National Youth Choir days, Andy Williamson, where he revealed that he had suddenly discovered that he has Polycystic Kidney Disease.
This is the same condition that I have, although Andy’s is in a much more serious state of advance than my incarnation of the disease. Andy’s blood test showed
a Creatinine level of 916 (normal is 80-122), and Urea of 36.1 ([normal is] 2.5-7.5)
Over the last few years my Creatinine levels have hovered between 100 and 122, and Urea between 5.9 and 6.6, which, while at the higher end of normal, shows that my kidneys are still in a fairly healthy state. And, as I’ve stated on this blog previously, if I manage to lose some weight that can only be a good thing for my overall health too. Andy’s readings, as you can see, were astronomically high.
I met Andy at my first NYC course at Darley Dale School in Derbyshire in December 1988. It was the same December as the Pan Am Flight 103 disaster over Lockerbie; there was a member of NYC on that flight, Helga Mosey. Although I didn’t know her, I too cried, alongside with my new friends.
Anyway, that event coloured much of that course, and in some strange way actually might have helped people grow closer together, and have helped new members to be accepted quicker than they might otherwise have been; I don’t know. But what I do remember is how kind so many long-established members of the choir were to this, new, 17 year old Bass 2. And one of those was Andy.
Andy lived in Darlington (I think) in those days, and so chummed me back on the GNER train north from our concert at the Royal Albert Hall in London.
We met up again last August during the Edinburgh Festival Fringe as Andy was playing saxophone at about a million different gigs, including with the Big Buzzard big band in the famous Spiegeltent in George Square.
Anyway, please do pray for Andy. He began kidney dialysis today.