THE fiancée of a 24-year-old who died of cancer says she will remember him as a brave, strong and loving man.
Sarah Barclay has spoken out after the death of partner Andy Prowting, of Leigh Park, from skin cancer on Wednesday.
His story captured the hearts of many across the area who set about raising money to send him for treatment in the US.
But last week Andy was given the devastating news the cancer had spread to his lungs and brain, and he had only two weeks to live.
Last month he proposed to girlfriend Sarah, 25, who last night told The News: ‘It breaks my heart that I will never get to see Andy’s beautiful smile again or hold his hand one last time.
‘Andy was the most caring and thoughtful person and I feel privileged that I became his fiancée.
‘I will always remember him as a brave, strong and happy loving man.’
Andy’s mother Julie Williams, 49, said she was shocked at him passing away at home so suddenly.
She said: ‘I was so shocked, he was still talking on Monday and Tuesday, but on Wednesday he was restless.
‘But he was still smiling like he always did.
‘He was a fantastic son, so brave and I am so proud of him, he was my life and my world revolved around him.
‘He was always smiling and not a single person can say a bad word about him.’
As reported, Andy, of Silkstead Avenue, Leigh Park, first noticed an odd-looking mole on his back in January this year and believed it may have developed after he was sunburnt on holiday.
He was diagnosed with a severe skin cancer called malignant melanoma.
In April, surgeons at Queen Alexandra Hospital removed the lymph nodes under his right arm and tissue in his back.
After having three months off from work as a security supervisor to recover, Andy was referred to Southampton to take part in a chemotherapy clinical trial in August.
But when doctors ran tests, they found the cancer had spread to Andy’s bones and liver.
His sister Sarah Prowting, 27, said: ‘On the day he passed away he was visited by his boss and his two close friends.
‘He even did the special handshake they all do and was smiling. His smile was always there.’
The family would also like to thank all those who are a part of Andy’s Army – which was a massive fundraising drive to send Andy to America for treatment not available in the UK.
In total £45,000 has been raised, some of the money will be used to pay for Andy’s funeral and the rest will be donated to cancer ward he was being treated in at Southampton General Hospital.
His other sister Sam Clarke, 30, said: ‘We want to say a big thank you to all those who helped raise the money, it was amazing.’
The family said Andy’s Army will continue as part of his legacy. His funeral takes place on Monday, December 29, in Portchester Crematorium, from midday to 1pm.
All are welcome to attend and people are encouraged to wear Andy’s Army T-shirts and badges. Afterwards people are invited to celebrate Andy’s life at the Leigh Park Working Men’s Club, in Dunsbury Way, any time between 1.15pm to 10pm.