A teen rugby star died suddenly this week after being admitted to the hospital with a viral infection, loved ones of the young athlete said.
Joseph Gardiner, 15, passed away on July 31 within 24 hours of falling ill, according to Sky News. Prior to his death, Gardiner started struggling with “shortness of breath” and later suffered a heart attack.
Gardiner was captain of the Pyle RFC under-16 rugby team in Bridgend, South Wales. The father of his best friend, Adam Brooke, told Sky News that Gardiner was “such a genuine, good kid, a nice kid.”
“He had his whole life ahead of him,” said Brooke.
Brooke set up an online fundraiser to assist Gardiner’s family with funeral costs and other expenses.
“Joe was a 15 year old boy with his life ahead of him, Joe was a talented rugby player and loved nothing more than putting on the blue and white jersey of Pyle which he wore week in week out with pride,” the online fundraiser’s description states.
“Unfortunately Joe passed away suddenly today 31/7/23 after being admitted to hospital with a viral infection 24 hours previously what happened after that nothing can ever prepare you for,” the description continues. “Joe was loved by everyone he was the nicest lad you could ever wish to meet so polite never rude just a genuine good kid… Please please give what you can even if it’s £1 every little helps… no parent should have to plan their child’s funeral… please also give it a share with friends and family every share every donation helps immensely.”
In an update posted to the fundraiser, Brooke thanked everyone for their support.
“Would like to thank everyone personally for all your kind words and donations. I know the family will be extremely grateful, especially at this heartbreaking time… let’s see what we can gets this to for them, as I know it will be a massive help toward giving Joseph the send off he deserves and having enough left over to honour Joseph’s memory… thanks again everyone and please keep sharing..,” he wrote.