“What a journey it’s been – absolutely fantastic”
Andy used to be very fit. He is ex-army and was an active rugby player until he got sick back in 2000.
“I had a chest infection. I couldn’t shake it off. I could do nothing to get rid of it. I had loads of antibiotics. I went out for a run one Saturday, I got out through the front door, went about 30 yards and just collapsed”
“They thought I’d had a heart attack”
“My neighbours came out and called an ambulance. They thought I’d had a heart attack”
“The hospital did a chest x-ray and I had all these multifocal tumour in my lungs, all over from top to bottom”
Andy’s doctors thought it was very progressive lymphoma and Andy thought his time was up. Andy says “From December through to February I thought, anytime now I could be taken”.
Andy’s doctors wanted to do a lung biopsy on him, but he was too ill. Eventually the doctors decided to do it regardless of the risks.
10 years off-work, relying on 52 tablets a day
The biopsy revealed Andy had sarcoidosis, a rare condition that causes small patches of red and swollen tissue, called granulomas, to develop in the organs of the body.
Andy says the sarcoidosis turned his lung tissue into fibre, so that rather than being elasticated, his lungs were just like bags. All of his energy was zapped out of him.
This resulted in Andy being unable to work for 10 years and relying on 52 tablets a day!
Andy says “Taking 52 tablets for any length of time is going to have an effect on your body. My liver, lungs, everything just collapsed and I ended up in a coma and in intensive care.”
When Andy came out of the coma he stayed on his medications, but says it felt as if the sarcoid was “slowly giving up”.
“I was like an egg on legs”
In 2011, Andy tried to go back to work, but found that the more he worked, the worse his health became. He says “the harder I worked, the disease was coming back with a vengeance”.
Andy’s weight shot up to over 300 pounds / 140 kilograms and says he was “like an egg on legs”.
Andy remembers thinking “How the hell are books going to help me?” and he tossed them aside.
His doctor was persistent. When she heard about Super Juice Me! she called Andy back to the surgery and explained that Jason Vale wanted sick people to help his big juice experiment by living on juice for 28 days.
“I believed I was dying”
“Jason who?” said Andy, making it obvious he hadn’t read the books.
Andy explained to me that he believed he was dying and 4 weeks in Portugal sounded like it could be a nice, free holiday.
“Alright, I’ll drink the juices,” he thought, “but I wonder what else we will be eating? We can’t just live on juice.” He was in for a surprise!
Andy had special assistance at the airport as he was unable to walk more than 10 – 15 yards. He needed assistance onto the airplane and was pushed in a wheelchair for parts of the journey.
He says ”When I got there [to Juicy Oasis] I was shattered. [The journey] had really taken its toll and you could see people’s faces thinking ‘hang on – have we bitten off more than we can chew here.’ There I was with my two suitcases [one filled with medications] and my oxygen. At that time I was on 18 hours of oxygen a day.”
“Lets give it a go and see what happens”
Andy wondered if he would be sent home, but Andy told me that Jason Vale said “No, lets give it a go and see what happens”.
I should stress here that Super Juice Me! was made with close medical supervision.
“I get quite emotional now,” said Andy, adding that after everything Jason Vale has done for him, he now thinks of Jason as family. “He is always concerned about me, but it’s not just me. He is concerned about everybody, but he makes you feel like he is just concerned about you.”
Super Juiced Back to Exercise
“By the end of the first week, I got up and walked to reception. I was going to go downstairs and crack on with the day,” said Andy. When he got there he though “hang on, I’m not out of breath, that’s strange” so he kept walking and went into the gym.
In the gym Andy did two minutes of one thing, followed by 2 minutes of another which he built up over a couple of weeks.
By week 3 he was bursting with energy. He says he felt “amazing” and he had managed to stop taking many of his tablets.
I don’t want to spoil the documentary for you, so I won’t walk you through Andy’s whole journey, but I will tell you this… after our interview he was heading out for a 20 MILE BIKE RIDE!!! He is also planning to walk the London Marathon in 2015 and maybe even run it the year after!
“The juicy high seems to be there all the time at the minute,” he says, “I can’t sit still for any length of time. If I’m not out on the bike I’m doing something else”.
On top of his bike ride he also has a gym session planned for later today!
Super Juicing the National Health Service (NHS)
Andy is from a medical background, working as anesthetic technician in hospital theatres. When his doctor first spoke to him about juicing Andy thought she had “gone mental”. Now he wants to get juicing integrated in to the NHS.
Andy said ”My ultimate goal would be to get into a hospital and speak to the people in charge of patient nutrition and say ‘look, when you’re feeding someone up or getting someone to lose weight your giving them such and such a meal. Why don’t you try them on this?’ and try to get juicing involved in the hospital.”
I love Andy’s passion for juicing and health. If you are reading this and you have the contacts that might be able to help Andy with this goal please get in touch via the comments box below or message me via Facebook or Twitter.
Blend It Like a Super Juicer!
Andy now has 2-3 juices each day and typically a healthy meal with fish or chicken with rice. He also eats a lot of soup.
Regular readers will know I am big fan of blending my juices with avocado. Andy told me that he too blends many of his juices with avocado.
Avocado is also part of Andy’s favourite breakfast treat: 2 pieces of rye bread, spread with avocado and topped with poached eggs. Sound yummy!
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