TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — This year’s Tampa Bay Heart Walk is just around the corner, and this year, all of us at News Channel 8 have a new reason to get involved and give back.
The death of our beloved colleague, Chief Photojournalist Paul Lamison, left us all shocked and stunned earlier this year. He died suddenly of a heart attack in early August. That’s why we’re dedicating all of our 2022 Heart Walk efforts to him.
Paul Lamison worked at WFLA News Channel 8 for nearly 30 years. Most of that time, 57-year-old Lamison spent behind the camera as a photographer. But in recent years, he became our helicopter reporter who you would see in the mornings.
Suddenly and unexpectedly, on Aug. 3, Lamison died of a heart attack while out for a walk. The loss hit our News Channel 8 family very hard — and his own family even harder.
Security video in the neighborhood captured what happened, according to Lamison’s wife.
“All of a sudden he held his chest and then kind of put his head down. Then he sat down, then he laid back and it was like he just fell asleep,” Nerissa Lamison said. “It was very peaceful but it was very sudden.”
What viewers saw of Lamison was a guy with a dry sense of humor who had the good fortune of throwing out the first pitch for his beloved Tampa Bay Rays just weeks before he died.
Lamison was a family man who was just about to celebrate his 15th wedding anniversary with his wife Nerissa, also a journalist. The two met when Nerissa was an anchor at WFLA in the early 2000s. They married in 2007 and welcomed their daughter Ava a year later. That made them a family of six – Paul with a daughter from a previous marriage and Nerissa with two daughters from a previous marriage.
The family traveled together, enjoyed family dance nights and everything in between. They documented their life together as many journalists do and we want to share some of those happy memories in tribute to Paul.
“He was only 57 and he was in good shape. He was very vigilant about what he was eating. He went to the doctor. He got his heart checked. We checked all the boxes” Nerissa Lamison said.
She hopes Paul’s story will serve as a reminder to hug those close to you extra hard because you truly never know when it will be the last time.
We are dedicating our Heart Walk efforts to Paul this year and we hope you will join us for the 2022 Tampa Bay Heart Walk on Saturday, Nov. 5 at Raymond James Stadium.