On August 16th 2016, on a hot sunny day, I dropped my 19 year old son to Selsdon, Croydon at around 19:30pm. The sun was beaming from the sky and the local community was filled with the sounds of young people playing, people chatting and dogs barking. Teenagers kicking a football around and enjoying the summer sun. I kissed my son goodbye whilst asking him to call me to let me know when I should return to pick him up. That time never came!
Instead, I received a panicked called from a mother who could see a teenager laying on a grass verge calling for his mother, " get my mum, get my mum!" that mum was me!
I drove back to Selsdon knowing that my son had been stabbed but not knowing the true extent of his injuries. When I arrived I saw an Air Ambulance, Police, Ambulances and a crowd of local residents young and old who had witnessed the attack on my son and had come out to help him. There was a cordon in place and Police held me back from being at my sons side. The closest I got to him that night was during the car ride to St George's hospital as the Police car that I was in followed closely behind the Ambulance my Son was in.
He died that night. He was chased and stabbed in broad day light in front of many people and left for dead bleeding out on a grass verge. All because he disagreed with a another boy (who used to be his friend) on the treatment and violence that he was displaying to the boys girlfriend,my sons friend! - Acting like a gentleman!
Days after the four boys who were there were arrested and charged with his murder and then the events of that evening started to be revealed.
During a 13 week trial at the Old Bailey, it became more apparent what happened that evening. There was an overwhelming amount of evidence available to convict the perpetrators. Two were convicted of Murder with each one being given sentences of 22 years. Two were convicted for manslaughter. The evidence given during that trial haunts me everyday. One witness said " I will never for get the sound of the screams that he made when he was being stabbed" Others described the size of the knives and the wounds that they left on my sons body and others spoke about the amount of blood that covered one of the witnesses that was trying desperately to pack his wounds and stop the bleed.
On Andre's death certificate it reads - cause of death, two stab wounds to the left lung. During the trial I realised the reality of his injuries. The report showed that Andre had received a number of injuries caused by knives, this had caused him to loose a huge amount of blood which resulted in three cardiac arrests. His body was no longer able to pump the oxygen around his body and therefore causing a lack of oxygen to get to his brain. This resulted in Andre being classified brain dead. After the fourth cardiac arrest he wasn't brought back and allowed to die at 10:22pm.
It was the loss of blood due to the number of times he was stabbed that ultimately caused my sons death. If the bleeding could have been stopped or stemmed and the oxygen was still able to reach his brain then maybe, just maybe he would have had a better change of survival. This is why i believe that PUBLIC ACCESS BLEED KITS are vital to have in the community in order for the those who are 1st at the scene to have access to the necessary equipment that they need to start that process before Police and Paramedics arrive. This time is vital in saving a life!
In honour and remembrance of my 1st born son, Andre Aderemi I will campaign through August to try to get as many of these kits into the public and accessible to local communities so that lives can be preserved. Too many of our children are dying on our streets and this is not only having an affect on the families and friends that have lost their loved one but also community members that have to witness these events and then have to live with the fact that someone has been killed and died outside their living room window or pavement on their street. These kits can be easily used by anyone and they can help to save lives not only for youth violence such a shootings or stabbings but for any incident where the victim is bleeding.
If you knew my son Andre, or you know me and my family I would like to ask that for August you donate the cost of a drink in his memory or however much you can spare towards buying these kits so they are out there ready to save a life. I want Andre's death to make a difference to others and for his death not to be just another senseless murder but a catalyst for change.
We need to work together as a community of affected people as this is not an issue that just affects people who are involved in gangs or criminal activity but can affect anyone. Your child, brother or cousin could be out having a drink in a pub or club and get into a argument with someone over absolutely nothing and it goes too far and there is an act of violence committed against them.
If there is a kit nearby this could be the different between them living and dying.
I do what I do because I don't want you or anyone else to experience a loss like me.
Please if you can, donate today to make a difference.
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