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Hero former editor who saved cousin’s life found dead aged 53

A former weekly editor who saved his cousin’s life after donating one of his kidneys to her last year has died suddenly aged 53.

Raymond Hughes was editor of the Alpha Newspapers-owned Ulster Gazette between February 2012 and January 2013.

His career also included a six-year stint as a senior sub-editor for the Daily Mirror while more recently he had sent up a news website called Lough Neagh News.

Raymond, from Coalisland, was found dead at his home on Wednesday morning.  It is understood he died from natural causes.

Last year he underwent an operation to donate one of his kidneys to his cousin, Briege Dorman, who had previously lost one of hers to cancer before the second stopped working.

The two are pictured above at a family gathering shortly after the transplant operation.

Briege, 58, subsequently gave an interview to Belfast Live in which she credited Raymond with saving her life.

She said:  “He’s my hero. Thank God he was there, because if he hadn’t done what he did, I wouldn’t be here.

“He keeps saying that I saved his life, but he really saved mine.

“My life has been transformed. I have more energy and because of him I can play with my grandchildren.”

Raymond’s sudden death has come as a shock to the many people that knew him.

Fellow journalist Carmel Robinson said: “Shocked and saddened to hear of the sudden passing of my old friend and colleague Raymond Hughes. He was a brilliant journalist and a kind friend. We had some craic over the past 30 years.”