A JOURNALIST is set to pound the roads at this weekend’s Great North Run in memory of a former colleague who died after suffering a heart attack.
Former Echo reporter Paul Watson was working for our sister title the Hartlepool Mail when he died last November at just 50.
Only three weeks before his death, Paul had written an article about organ donors, and was so touched that he decided to become one himself.
After he died, his organs were donated and helped to change the lives of three people.
Tom Wilkinson was a former colleague at the Press Association where Paul had worked for 10 years.
One of the organs Paul donated was his liver.
Tom wanted to do something as a lasting memory, and with the help of Paul’s partner, Pauline, is tackling Sunday’s 13-mile GNR course for LIVErNORTH, a charity, which helps liver patients in the North of England.
Dad-of-two Tom, 40, from Chester-le-Street, said: “Paul was my immediate boss and friend for almost a decade and a lovely man to work with.
“His death shocked us all, and by donating his organs he managed to change lives. I just wanted to do something fitting in his memory and, with Pauline’s help, I chose this one.”
Pauline added: “Paul would have been very proud.”
To donate log onto https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/tomwilkinsongnr