A POPULAR doctor from the Wee County has died suddenly at the age of just 40.

Derek McIntosh, formerly of Menstrie, passed away on Friday, July 28, much to the shock of his family, close friends and colleagues.

He will likely be remembered as “a very clever guy” with his heart-broken brother Ken describing him as “one of the funniest people” he had known.

News of his death sparked an outpouring of tributes from those who knew him best.

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 attended Menstrie Primary School before moving on to Alva Academy where he was an outstanding pupil.

In 1994, Derek received the Dux medal before going on to achieve five A grades in his Highers, earning a degree in anatomical science and completing his medical studies in 2001.

Derek also had a passion for writing, his poetry was featured in the Advertiser when he was 12-years-old.

He later worked as an anaesthetist in the ICU at Inverclyde Royal Hospital.

Derek’s father Jim, 70, said his son was a remarkable person, very professional in his work and had a “wicked sense of humour”.

Ken added: “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.”

Derek, who lived in Edinburgh and worked at the hospital for more than a decade, was also an avid traveller.

Teaming up with his brother, they conquered Mount Kilimanjaro in March to help an appeal for Greenock firefighter Andy Adams who was left paralysed in an accident whilst on duty.

They spent seven days scaling Africa’s highest point and then enjoyed a two-day safari.

Ken said: “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.”

The 40-year-old was also well-loved by his colleagues at the hospital, with consultant anaesthetist Dr Duncan Thomson saying he will be sorely missed.

He added: “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.”

The family will announce the details of Derek’s funeral service on Facebook in the near future.