A GRIEVING husband has told how dreams of a new life and happy retirement were shattered when his wife was diagnosed with a fatal brain tumour.

Port Glasgow man Andrew Gordon and his American wife Andrea had just retired to Inverclyde with plans to travel the world when they were dealt the devastating blow.

Andrea died earlier this month, leaving Andrew heartbroken.

The couple moved to Greenock in January and were planning to enjoy what should have been the 'best year of their lives' before she suddenly took ill.

Andrew, 63, who was brought up in Port Glasgow and attended Greenock Academy, moved to America in 1979 at the age of 21 after being inspired by the stories his American grandfather had told him.

It was in the States that he met his wife to be, who was from Ohio, in 1979.

They both lived on Roosevelt Island and first met on the aerial tramway to Manhattan.

They were married in 1981 in Port Glasgow West Church by Andrew’s father Rev D C Gordon, who was minister there, before returning to America and settling in Seattle.

They remained there until January this year before moving to Scotland to start a new chapter which was cruelly snatched away from them.

Andrew, who worked as a software developer, said: “I loved being in Seattle but I was very job focused and thought moving away completely would be the break I needed.

“We had visited Scotland many times and Andrea suggested we move here.

"I wanted a fresh start not a re-start but she did her research and fell in love with Greenock and the views.

“It was the right choice despite my initial reservations.”

It took the couple two years to get everything in order and they moved to Greenock in January but just weeks later Andrea was diagnosed with the deadly tumour.

Andrew said: “We had just moved into a flat in James Watt Way when Andrea started having headaches and struggled to get around.

"A few days later I had to call an ambulance and she was diagnosed with glioblastoma, an aggressive cancer that begins within the brain.

“She quickly had an operation and we were then offered chemotherapy or another, riskier operation.

"We decided to take the chance on the operation.

“We moved into our permanent home in Eldon Street in June and shortly after Andrea found herself back in hospital.

“After her treatment she was discharged to home care and had carers and nurses visiting multiple times a day.

“She passed away on Wednesday November 13, at home surrounded by family.

“It was so hard.

"It was all very quick between the diagnosis and the treatment and we never really got a chance to get out and enjoy this place.

“I only really visited the hospital and Tesco to get groceries because I couldn’t really leave her.”

The couple had been keen travellers, visiting 65 countries and territories in seven different continents.

They planned to continue to see the world on retirement but tragically it wasn't to be.

Andrew said: “Andrea was a very outgoing person and loved to travel.

"You could always pick her out of a crowd because she would be chatting and always had people around her.

“The plan was to retire and continue to travel.

"It was supposed to be the best years of our lives.

"Now travelling won’t be the same.

“Andrea was a very positive person and I will miss her greatly.

"It is not the same without her but I still have my life to live and she would want me to live it and make the most of it like we did.”

Andrew says he wants to thank all the staff who cared for Andrea.

He said: “The treatment Andrea received and everyone at the NHS has been wonderful.

"People really seemed to care and she was very well treated.

"There has also been a lot of support for me, and the nurses and carers went above and beyond their job description to help.

"I can’t thank them enough.

“Andrea was great at making friends and the small amount of people we came into contact with have been a great support, like Andrea’s hairdresser, the people in our building and some of the staff at the Holiday Inn hotel, where we stayed when we arrived at first, say are going to come to the funeral.

"People have really gone out of their way to help me and support me.”

Andrea’s funeral will be held in Greenock Crematorium on Tuesday at noon.