THE devastated family of a much-loved Greenock man who passed away after a shock diagnosis at the age of just 42 are raising money for Inverclyde Royal Hospital in his memory. 

Joe Cooke tragically died on May 10 last year after suffering an aneurysm and a cardiac arrest brought on by undiagnosed polycystic kidney disease. 

Joe's wife Dawn, supported by her devoted friends and family, is paying tribute to him by arranging a fundraising night in May, taking part in the Kiltwalk, and running a football tournament. 

The majority of the money generated in the events will be donated to the renal unit at Inverclyde Royal to thank the staff there for their support. 

Dawn, 39, told the Telegraph that being involved in raising funds in Joe's memory is driving her forward as she grieves the loss of her beloved husband. 

She said: "It's really helping me to focus on something. 

"I'm just thankful I have amazing friends and family around me.

"The staff who looked after Joe were absolutely phenomenal. 

"We all just want to thank them for their amazing work."

Dawn told how Joe taking unwell at home was a complete shock. 

She said: "It was about half-ten in the morning and he went upstairs to brush his teeth, and suffered a cardiac arrest in the bathroom. 

"He was taken to Inverclyde Royal first and then transferred to the Royal Alexandra in Paisley. 

"Joe was a fit and healthy guy and there was nothing to suggest that anything was wrong."

Greenock Telegraph:
When doctors carried out investigations at the Royal Alexandra, they discovered Joe had polycystic kidney disease and had suffered an aneurysm. 

He spent five days in the intensive care unit before Dawn was told that Joe would not survive the damage his body had sustained. 

Dawn said: "It was absolutely horrific.

"I was in complete shock. 

"I don't think the trauma will ever leave me."

Joe leaves behind two sons, Reece and Lennon, and his wee granddaughter Orla, two. 

Dawn, who is a district nurse, said that after discovering Joe had the illness, the family realised that there are other diagnoses of the condition in the family.

She said: "We really don't know how and if this condition is going to affect us in the future, and don't know how far down the line it's going to go."

Dawn told the Telegraph that Joe, her partner of 23 years, was a 'real family man'. 

She said he loved his family and he loved Celtic, and could always be found in the Black Cat or the Green Oak pubs.

To honour his love of football, a group of Joe's childhood friends, led by Neil Rankin, have organised a football tournament which will run at Lady Octavia Sports Centre on June 1. 

Tickets for a fundraising evening in memory of Joe, which will take place at the Thistle Suite on May 11, sold out in 48 hours. 

Greenock Telegraph:
Dawn said she's been overwhelmed the support she's received from friends, family, and people all over Inverclyde since Joe's passing. 

Her good friend Lisa Boyle, who worked with Joe at Creditfix in Glasgow for 18 years, is taking part in the Kiltwalk on April 28.

She said she's pleased that Joe's friends and family are getting the chance to honour him in different ways. 

Lisa, 37, said: "Joe was so popular. 

"He was just was such an amazing character and he had this infectious laugh. 

"Everyone has been so supportive of the family, it's been incredible. 

"It's great that everyone who knew and loved Joe is getting the chance to put their own stamp on the fundraising.

"He's a legend who will never be replaced."

Me & Him barbers in Greenock, and the team at the Green Oak bar are sponsoring the charity events. 

Dawn has also thanked the team at The Exchange for their support. 

To donate in memory of Joe, visit