Please pray for Andy

Andy Williamson leaning over a bannister at Darley Dale School, Derbyshire
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.

Published by

Gareth Saunders

I’m Gareth J M Saunders, 52 years old, 6′ 4″, father of 3 boys (including twins). Enneagram type FOUR and introvert (INFP), I am a non-stipendiary priest in the Scottish Episcopal Church, I sing with the NYCGB alumni choir, play guitar, play mahjong, write, draw and laugh… Scrum master at Safeguard Global; latterly at Sky and Vision/Cegedim. Former web architect and agile project manager at the University of St Andrews and previously warden at Agnes Blackadder Hall.

3 thoughts on “Please pray for Andy”

  1. I am reading your blog as always before retiring for the evening – so desperately saddened to hear about Andy. Please extend my love & best wishes to him & his family & please email me with his postal address so that I can send a card. PS. Cheers for the Apocalyptica CDs!! Love & prayers…..L xxxx

  2. Dear whoever you are who also suffer from the same disease as Andy (Sorry, this is the first time I have ever communicated via the web!!! Technologically inept!!)

    In my first excursion into cyber space i found this site. I am the father of the ‘HELGA MOSEY’ mentioned in the BLOG who was murdered on board Pan-Am flight 103 over Lockerbie in Scotland at Christmas 1988. The NYC was so very supportive at that time. Please assure Andy (and yourself) of our prayers. I do not have the time for much of this sort of stuff but do view my e-mail frequently.

    Every blessing – ‘hope you are still singing!

    John Mosey

  3. Dear John, bless you for your comment and for your prayers. I was at the Darley Dale NYC course in December 1988. It was my first NYC course.

    I remember when my good friend Jonny Coore asked to borrow my radio as he’d remembered that it was possible that Helga was on that flight. When it was confirmed that she was there were very many tears. I cried too. I didn’t know Helga, but she obviously meant a lot to these new friends of mine too.

    Thank you for your prayers. I’ve prayed often for your family, ever since that course in 1988. You may have gathered that I’m a clergyman too, though now working in I.T. at the University of St Andrews.

    Love and blessings,


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