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Hospital to ensure daily news editor’s name lives on

A regional daily journalist whose donated organs saved three people after he died suddenly of a heart attack has been honoured by his local hospital.

Hartlepool Mail head of news Paul Watson, left, regularly wrote about the chemotherapy unit at the University of Hartlepool Hospital, earning him a place in the hearts of staff there.

After his sudden death aged 50 from a heart attack last November, three people’s lives were saved from organs he donated.

Now, his memory is to live on after the hospital named a new patient room after him.

The Paul Watson Room has been kitted out with new flooring, a paint job, blinds and a sofa make it feel homely for the patients who meet with staff there to discuss pre-chemotherapy matters.

Editor Joy Yates said staff at the Mail were delighted Paul had been recognised.

“Paul was a respected journalist and popular member of the Hartlepool Mail team. We miss him very much and we are so proud he has been honoured in this way,” she added.

His wife Pauline added: “It is a testament to what Paul did and what he loved doing as a journalist. He was always wanting to help people and promote their wellbeing.”

The plaque outside the new Paul Watson Room, named in honour of the former Hartlepool Mail journalist

The Hartlepool Mail’s own charity account helped pay for the plaque, flooring, paint and blinds while a generous donation from hospital visitor Alan Martin, in memory of his wife Pat, meant a new sofa could be bought.

Chemotherapy nurse specialist Rosie Livingston said: “The patients love it, they feel at home here. We do think it’s a fitting tribute to Paul.”

Paul started out at the Sunderland Echo, before spending a year working for the Press Association. He joined the Mail as its news editor in 2007 then became head of news in 2010.

He was crowned the North East Journalist of the Year at the prestigious Tom Cordner Awards in 2009 and was involved with many fundraising and charity campaigns for the Mail.