About a million years ago, back at the turn of the millennium in fact, there was a program on BBC 2 called 'attachments' (With a lower-case 'A' because: hipsters) that detailed the lives of six 'New-Media' types and their Internet start-up company 'SeeThru'. The programme sank after a couple of series, but the high-points included an awful lot of just-post-watershed sex, and a young David Walliams.
The other thing that they did, which was pretty revolutionary at the time, was to created a 'real' copy of the website that was featured in the series. It was pretty cool really, if you were a geek... Things that they talked about on the show would often appear on the site the next day and there was a Forum where you could post messages. Kind of a proto-Facebook and it was pretty popular for a couple of years, even after the show had finished.
I was a member, and it used to help me while away the hours whilst I was working as an email-snooper for a large brewing and leisure company. There were about forty people who used the site regularly, we had intellectuals, people who worked for American Newspapers, boy-racers, Babylon 5 CosPlayers, University students, IT Types, journalists (one of whom particularly enjoyed falling out of trees for some reason), and a selection of other rum and uncanny people. We even had our own pet Troll.
We formed a close-knit group of 20-30 somethings who, on very odd occasions would meet up and drink beer, there are pictures that prove this floating around the internet somewhere probably - We used to call these things 'Meat-meets' because they took place in 'meatspace', a term the author William Gibson coined to describe 'real-life' as seen by people who spend a lot of time hidden away in 'Cyber-Space'
In fact, a lot of us are still connected via Facebook - Which is kind of cool.
We all had Nicknames back in the day, some even had a few and used to play different characters, and towards the end it all got a bit 'collaborative writing' based with people having conversations with themselves (as two, or even three, separate characters) and people trying to guess who everyone else was. It sounds horrid and pretentious, but you have to remember that this was well before Candy Crush Saga or Angry Birds, and back in the olden days, we had to make our own entertainment.
I met a lot of great people, two of which I'd like to have a bit of a talk about.
They were (and still are) a husband and wife who met on the Internet (before it was fashionable - in fact, I think The Sun did an article on them), fell deeply in love and spent their time wandering about the place infecting all around them with love-waves.
They were called Sabian and Pie.
They say opposites attract don't they? Well, certainly in this case that seems to hold true. Sabian (or Andy, to people who 'only' know him from MeatSpace) is a big American guy from New Yoike (The State, not the City) and Pie (Celeste) is an incredibly pretty, diminutive girl of East Asian descent. They live in London, they have kids, and a life and friends and things are great.
Sabian and I were pretty close at the time, to the point where, if the MiniDandy had been born a boy, her/his name would probably have been Sabian.
You know where this is going don't you?
We've all seen films where the pilot climbs into his cockpit and kisses a picture of his wife and kids then tucks it behind the instruments right? You think to yourself 'He's gonna get shot down in flames...'
Well, I read a post on Facebook on Sunday that said that he had had a massive heart attack and had been rushed into intensive care. Because he doesn't do things by halves, the doctors decided to put him into a coma, hopefully to help stave off brain damage. they then decided that they would induce Hypothermia to try and lessen the risk even more.
On Monday they dropped his sedation, let him warm to room temperature and tried to wake him up. He almost managed to open his eyes, but the effort sent his heart rate through the roof. Luckily his body's self-regulatory system kicked in and managed to bring it back down again, hopefully before it could do any harm.
Currently, he's stable, but suffering from Aspirational Pneumonia and he has a fever, which isn't really helping things. There's slight movement from his eyelids and pupils.
The hospital are hopefully going to hook him up to an EEG today to see how much damage has been done, if any.
I know there aren't a lot of you who read this that know Andy, but I also know that most of you are good people.
If you get a spare moment today, or tomorrow, or every day for the rest of your life, I'd appreciate it if you could send happy thoughts, or pray, or chant or whatever you feel right doing, to my mate Andy.
This is him, if it helps you to focus - He doesn't look like someone who deserves all this does he?
If you don't want to for whatever reason (and who could blame you? You don't know him) at least think of someone you know, maybe give them a call, and ask if they're OK.
You don't know how much of a difference you'll make.
UPDATED STATUS - 13/09/13
I've just received an update from Andy's wife Celeste - I think it's best if I just copy and paste her words below.
Hi everyone. I've not wanted to put this update up but time isn't going to change what I have share.
I'm afraid, following a CT scan and his condition not improving, that the brain damage that Andy Thomas has is too extensive to recover from. He was without oxygen for about 70 minutes and although he's in hospital, still breathing, the reality is he probably left us last Saturday. The hospital will keep him going for as long as we need to say out goodbyes. His youngest brother Ryan Lawson will be here tomorrow.
I don't know how we're going to get through this, he's my soul and my heart and my everything. The girls just want their daddy back, I just want my Andy. I just want to wake up.