A CARE company has shared the tragic story of an Isle of Wight employee who died of Covid-19, falling ill just a week before staff were due to receive their vaccinations.

Andy Henson, from Shanklin, caught Covid-19 in December.

Both his parents and one of his brothers had died before him and his pet cat died just days after his death.

Now, Andy's former colleagues want everyone to know his story - a life devoted to caring for others. 

“He devoted his life to taking care of other people." 

Isle of Wight-based Everycare says it is arranging and paying for Andy's funeral, describing him as the sort of person everyone liked to work with.

Andy's father died of cancer in 1963 and Andy was a carer for his mother, until she died of cancer in 1996.

He moved to the Isle of Wight, around ten years ago and had worked with Everycare for around six and a half years.

He contracted coronavirus at the end of 2020, but the case was not thought to be related to his work.

David Bean, Everycare managing director, said: “As a carer, he did a fantastic job.

“He was quite a private man. We knew he had a brother, who he put as his next of kin when he joined us.

"Sadly, that brother died 18 months ago.

“By the time he was coming to the end of his isolation period, when the rates of infection were really high, he hadn’t got any better. 

“We were helping him with shopping and everything.

"We tried to get the paramedics out to him but they were too busy, so they sent the Covid response team instead.

“They took him into hospital, he went into ICU, and he just didn’t shake it off. He died on February 7."

David Bean said he wanted to make sure that Andy was given the funeral he deserved.

Mr Bean said: “When he died, we were under the impression he had no one in the world. We said we would give him a proper funeral — it felt wrong not to.

“Everyone loved Andy. He had a very dry sense of humour, and he was the sort of person everyone liked to work with.

“We wanted to do something meaningful, so we decided to pay for his funeral. If there was no one else to mourn him and miss him, we would miss him."

It was then that another brother was found to be living in Leicestershire.

Derrick did not know Andy had died until he was informed by police officers. Although the pair had been in contact, Derrick had not received any updates.

Colleagues had been feeding Andy's cat while he was unwell, but before they could arrange for the pet to be taken north, to Derrick, the animal also died.

David Bean said: “When he went into hospital, Andy actually gave us as his next of kin.

“It was heartbreaking telling his colleagues. Telling the lovely people who use our service was probably the hardest bit.

“It was only a couple of weeks before [the rest of the team] got our first vaccination - about a week after Andy first went into hospital.

“We want everyone to read about Andy, to acknowledge that he existed and his life mattered, and that he devoted his life to taking care of other people." 

Bright Hill Funerals is providing flowers for the funeral.

“We just wanted to do something meaningful for Andy — to thank him for everything he’s done. We wanted to share his story to immortalise him," said David Bean.

“He was a wonderful, wonderful man, and deserves to be remembered.”