‘Our son was truly remarkable’

Andrew Joy from Burton Latimer, who died in March 2013
Andrew Joy from Burton Latimer, who died in March 2013

Grieving parents have paid tribute to their disabled son, who died last month at the age of 38.

Andrew Joy, who suffered with severe learning and physical disabilities, and also severe epilepsy as a child, had not been expected to live beyond a very young age.

However, his parents Paul and Sandy said their “remarkable, courageous and inspirational” son constantly defied the medical experts.

Despite being born with very little movement in the right side of his body and the left side of his face, he learned to walk and talk and was not deterred despite needing a scoliosis operation to straighten his spine. He also suffered a broken femur which eventually had to be removed to reduce his pain – and which doctors feared would mean he might not be able to walk again.

“Andrew was an inspirational young man,” Mr Joy said. “Every day he overcame things you and I take for granted through his courage, bravery and determination to succeed.

“He pushed the boundaries of medical achievement far beyond what was ever thought possible.

“He was truly remarkable. He was somebody who overcame the cards he was dealt and inspired everyone who had met him.”

The family, who live in Burton Latimer, are originally from Wellingborough. Andrew’s funeral earlier this month was held at St Edward’s Roman Catholic Church in Kettering, which was packed with mourners.

Mrs Joy said: “There are a thousand stories we could say about him and I always said he was my miracle from day one.”

She recounted one story when Andrew was very young regarding his fantastic memory in which she became lost and anxious in a large country park when it was getting dark. Andrew had taken her hand and guided her safely out of the wooded area to arrive next to her parked car.

He could also remember the route to family holidays when only going on the route once before.

His parents said two of their most treasured memories were when Andrew proudly acted as best man for his brother Richard at his wedding to Linda and when, two years later, he proudly held his nephew Ashley on his knee.

Mrs Joy said the family had been inundated with phone calls, cards and flowers from well-wishers since Andrew passed away and they have thanked everyone who has supported them.