Tributes paid to Andrew Humphrey, from Ampleforth, who has died aged 19

Gazette & Herald: Andrew celebrating his GCSE results in 2011 Andrew celebrating his GCSE results in 2011

TRIBUTES have been paid to a Ryedale teenager who underwent a heart transplant several years ago.

Andrew Humphrey, from Ampleforth, passed away on June 7 aged 19.

In 2011 he became the 200th youngster to receive a heart transplant at the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle.

Andrew was born with a condition which caused the left side of his heart to be severely underdeveloped and unable to function normally.

He was immediately transferred to Leeds and then Birmingham where surgeons operated on him, with further operations carried out when Andrew was four months old and again at the age of four.

By his early teens, Andrew's only option for him to live a normal live was with a heart transplant and he was put on the waiting list.

Following a successful 10-hour operation in January 2011, Andrew returned to Ryedale School in time to sit four GCSEs in maths, English and dual science.

His mother Zena said Andrew had been taken ill with a sickness bug shortly before his death.

"We took him to hospital for treatment and while we were there he had a fit and died - it was a terrible shock as he had been doing so well," she added.

"He'd had a brilliant three and a half years since the transplant and his life had improved no end, it had made a big difference to him."

Mrs Humphrey said that after leaving school Andrew had studied media at York College and had recently passed his driving test.

"It meant he was able to get out and about and was applying for jobs," she added.

"At the beginning of his life we were told not to expect him to survive and each time he had an operation we feared the worst but he always got over it. I still find it hard to believe what has happened."

A funeral service will be held at St Hilda's Church, Ampleforth, on Monday, June 30 at 12 noon with donations to the Freeman Hospital and Ryedale Special Families.

Mrs Humphrey said the family had requested informal wear and no ties.

"Andrew hated wearing ties even though he had to for job interviews," she said.

"We want the service to be a celebration of his life."

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