Shock at tragic death of young mum

Joy Andrews. Picture by Simon Trussell Photography d1xDQ2ZB8-9_lFe6Fqj6
Joy Andrews. Picture by Simon Trussell Photography d1xDQ2ZB8-9_lFe6Fqj6

Heartfelt tributes are being paid to a young mum who died just days after falling ill with what she thought was flu.

Family and friends of mother-of-two Joy Andrews, 41, have been left stunned by the tragedy. Husband Gary said: “We’re all in a state of utter disbelief.”

Joy Andrews, left, as Maria, and husband Gary, as Malvolio in a production of Shakespeare's Twelfth Night at Polesden Lacey SUS-170811-095223001

Joy Andrews, left, as Maria, and husband Gary, as Malvolio in a production of Shakespeare's Twelfth Night at Polesden Lacey SUS-170811-095223001

Hundreds have taken to Facebook to pay tribute to the much-loved mum who was a member of the Archway Theatre Company in Horley.

Gary and Joy ran a film production company - Egotrip Media - together and Gary was on a business trip abroad when Joy fell ill.

“She always seemed to get a bit poorly whenever I went away and we laughed about it,” said Gary. “She thought she had flu, but by the third day it got worse.”

Joy’s sister Marie, who had been staying for a few days, called Joy’s GP who immediately summonsed an ambulance which rushed her to East Surrey Hospital where she died. “Her organs just shut down,” said Gary.

Doctors think that she may have contracted sepsis, but tests are still being made to find out exactly what happened. “It was just a sudden tragic illness. So unexpected,” said Gary.

Joy first became ill on Tuesday October 24 and died in the early hours of Friday October 27. “The hospital were amazing. They couldn’t have done more.”

Now Gary and Joy’s children Lily, 10, and Ben, seven, are trying to come to terms with what has happened.

“She was our world,” said Gary. “She was the absolute love of my life. We just completed each other. She was perfect. It was perfect. Our life together was perfect.

“She never had a bad word for anybody. Her name was Joy and nobody could have been better named.”

Gary and Joy first met at the Archway Theatre in Horley in 1991 but really became friends after Joy returned from university. “We became best friends then in 1998 we discovered we were more than best friends.” The couple married in a ‘handfasting’ pagan ceremony at Chiddingstone Castle in Kent in 2004.

And although passionate about the theatre, since giving birth to Lily and Ben, Joy’s children were her main concerns. “Her primary focus was the kids,” said Gary. “She was such an extraordinary mum.”

Instead of a funeral service, a ‘passing’ ceremony and celebration of Joy’s life will be held at a private location in Ashdown Forest on November 25. Apart from Gary and her children, Joy leaves her mum, sister and two brothers.