was born in 1965 in the village of Lefaga, Matautu, a small province of Apia in Western Samoa.
In 1970, Andrew, his parents and younger brother migrated to Auckland, New Zealand. In 1979, at the age of 14, he became seriously ill. A doctor’s misdiagnosis of his condition as a‘bad cold’ resulted in rheumatic fever, damaging Andrew’s heart valves and becoming untreatable through medication.
Since then, he’s undergone five planned open-heart surgeries and one unscheduled reopening. (According to some health professionals, surviving six open-heart surgeries is a record.) In 2011, Andrew had a pacemaker inserted to regulate his heart. On two different occasions he has died and been revived. Andrew grew up in hospital, and his years in cardiac wards have armed him with life experiences most people will never encounter.
His first book Purple Heart (Random House, 2006) is the story of his years in hospital. Although he must continue to live on a cocktail of medications, he thrives and continues to be an optimist. His work on his next book and speaking engagements, keep him busy.