A TRIBUTE night is being held to commemorate the life of a South Yorkshire man who died aged 25 due to sudden and unexpected heart failure.
Robert Cooper appeared fit and well when he went to work in November 2010, but died two hours later as a result of cardiomyopathy – a heart condition which thickens the muscle tissue in the heart, causing it to become weaker over time.
His sister Sarah O’Mara said: “Robert was a popular, kind, loving, gentle person with a great sense of humour and an ability to make you laugh.
“He had no symptoms and had never been ill in his life. His death devastated everyone that knew him.”
Sarah, a healthcare assistant, and her husband James, a chef, both aged 30, of Barugh Lane, Barugh Green, Barnsley, now hope to raise £3,000 at a tribute night to support the Cardiomyopathy Association.
The CMA Robert Cooper tribute fund was also set up by Robert’s parents and has already received donations from friends and family.
Sarah said: “The association doesn’t get any Government funding so it relies on donations and families like us to raise funds for its important work.
“We plan to organise other events throughout the year to support the charity, and we want to raise awareness of the condition, because when it is diagnosed most affected people can be successfully treated.”
Cardiomyopathy is usually inherited and rarely acquired, so all members of Robert’s family have had heart checks.
The tribute night at Barugh Green Club on Friday, February 3, will include a performance by Barnsley band Miss Chief and a raffle and auction of items from celebrities including boxer David Haye and boyband One Direction.