A CEREMONY was held to remember a precious gift from a much respected, loved and missed Mail employee following his shock death.
It was held at the University Hospital of Hartlepool in commemoration of the gift of life that was given to others following the death of the Mail’s head of news Paul Watson, aged just 50.
Paul’s partner Pauline Scott placed a card in the organ donor memorial to acknowledge the special gift Paul left after his tragic and untimely death from a heart attack in November 2012.
It came just days after Paul attended the unveiling of the organ donor memorial at the hospital and led to three people’s lives being changed forever following his selfless wish to join the donor register.
Pauline is now urging other couples to discuss the issue as it can save the lives of people desperate for a donor organ and can help the grieving process.
National Blood and Transplant specialist nurse organ donation Clare Fletcher, who joined Pauline as she placed the card in the memorial, said: “This is a very bitter sweet time.
“We knew Paul supported organ donation because only 10 days before his death he was standing in this very spot as we unveiled our organ donor memorial.
“Little did we know that only days later he would himself give that special gift of organs to help others live on after his death.”
Pauline, who lives in Sunderland, said: “While I was devastated about losing Paul, I discussed organ donation with Clare, who looked after him during this time.
“I have found comfort in knowing he lives on in other people. I have attended the regional memorial service and contributed a square to the memorial quilt.
“It’s taken me some time to come and place a memento in the hospital’s organ donation memorial but it’s something I wanted to do because Paul was so closely associated with the hospital, especially the chemotherapy day unit and the lovely staff there who he had the utmost respect and admiration for.”
Pauline, who is a bank manager in Newcastle, added: “I can’t stress enough the importance of being on the organ donor register, but also making sure your loved ones know your wishes.
“When faced with the agony of Paul’s death it helped that I knew what his wishes were. I knew I’d be doing what he would have wanted.
“It is an awful thing to face, but when you’re losing a loved one things can’t really get any worse. You can get some comfort from knowing their loss is helping others live.”