POIGNANT tributes have been paid to a popular Inverclyde doctor who has died suddenly.

Derek McIntosh, who worked as an anaesthetist at Inverclyde Royal Hospital, died last Friday at the age of just 40.

His grieving family say they are devastated to lose such a special person.

His brother Ken, 42, said: “Derek was a very clever guy, he had a fantastic brain.

“The world has lost a great doctor.

“He was really intelligent and one of the funniest people I knew.

“I can’t believe he’s gone.

“He was just a brilliant guy.”

Derek had worked at Inverclyde Royal for the last 10 years and was well liked by his colleagues, who have been left stunned by his death.

Dad Jim, 70, says his son was a remarkable person.

He said: “He was very professional in his work.

“He also had a wicked sense of humour.”

Derek was born in Stirling and spent his early years in Menstrie, a village in the county of Clackmannanshire, and attended Menstrie Primary School.

At a young age, Derek had a passion for writing poetry and when he was 12 years old, one of his poems featured in the Alloa Advertiser.

As a teenager, he attended Alva Academy, where he was an outstanding pupil, receiving the Dux medal in 1994 before going on to achieve five A grades in his Highers.

After leaving school he went to the University of Edinburgh where he achieved a BSc in anatomical science before completing his medical degree in 2001.

Following his graduation, Derek worked in various hospitals before he started at Inverclyde Royal in 2007.

Ken said: “Someone he worked with at the IRH said he was a ‘legend’.

“He was very intelligent and was also in the top two per cent in the UK for Mensa.”

Since Derek’s sudden death, his family say they have been comforted to read many messages of support from people who knew him well, especially his colleagues at the hospital.

Dr Duncan Thomson, consultant anaesthetist at the hospital, says Derek will be sorely missed.

He said: “Derek worked in the ICU at Inverclyde Royal Hospital for over 10 years. 

“He was a very well liked and valued colleague and he will be greatly missed by all. 

“Our thoughts are with his family and friends.”

Derek, who lived in Edinburgh, also loved to travel, and his sense of adventure led him and his brother to conquer Mount Kilimanjaro back in March, in aid of the appeal fund set up to help Greenock firefighter Andy Adams after he was left paralysed in an accident while on duty last August. 

Ken, who works as a financial advisor, said: “It was a fantastic trip.

“We spent seven days climbing then we went on safari for two days.

“It was great fun.” 

Ken said his caring brother was keen to raise funds for injured fireman Andy after hearing about his ordeal.

He added: “I remember him telling me about this firefighter and how he was keen to raise money to help him.

“We also raised money for the Birmingham Children’s Hospital as it was the company I worked for’s nominated charity.

“Derek also wanted to climb Aconcagua in Argentina, the highest peak in the Western hemisphere.

“We planned to do that next.”

A sports enthusiast, IRH medic Derek took up running at the age of 17 and went on to complete half marathons and 10ks.
He also enjoyed watching sport, especially rugby and his beloved Dunfermline Athletic.

Derek also loved music, especially Scottish band Deacon Blue and he recently went to see them at Edinburgh Castle.

Ken said: “One of his last posts was of him wearing blue jeans and a blue shirt at the concert — he wore all blue to see Deacon Blue, which showed his sense of humour.”

Derek is survived by his dad Jim, stepmother Gillian, mum Linda Blamey, girlfriend Louise and his brother Ken, who is married to Charlotte and their daughter Jessica.

Ken said: “He was a fantastic man and a great uncle to my daughter Jessica.

“I really can’t believe he’s gone.”