Northern Ireland news

Teenage Co Down boxer who suffered brain aneurysm in Spain expected to fly home next month

Boxer Jamie Doyle (right) pictured with his surgeon Dr Jesus Morera (centre) and another member of the medical team

A YOUNG Co Down boxer who suffered a brain aneurysm in Spain is expected to fly home next month.

Jamie Doyle (18), from Banbridge, was airlifted from Lanzarote to a hospital in Gran Canaria after he collapsed on December 18 while on holiday with his parents Mary (50) and Stephen (52) and friend George.

His collapse was a double tragedy for the family after his older brother Dominic's two-week-old son died suddenly last month.

Jamie was initially put in an induced coma and underwent five brain surgeries, the most recent of which was carried out on Monday.

His family had initially feared he would not make a full recovery.

But his uncle Willie Fitzpatrick said doctors have been amazed by Jamie's progress and now expect him to heal fully.

"I was talking to him on Monday night," he said.

"He's getting his stitches out next week. It's a miracle. We are really lucky to have Jamie here. He's talking about going on holiday to Benidorm in six months. The doctors have said he can go back to boxing in a year's time. I said to him that recovery is key."

Mr Fitzpatrick, who coaches Down Gaelic Football Masters, said the family hoped he could return home by next month.

"Jamie Doyle's prayers and our prayers have been answered," he said.

He said the family had been overwhelmed by the support they had received, particularly from the GAA community.

"The GAA family have helped me out second-to-none," he said.

"The way everyone has pulled together is unbelievable."

Mr Fitzpatrick is caring for Jamie's brothers Dominic (23), Jude (16) and Callum (13) while their parents remain at their son's bedside. The family also has an older son, 25-year-old Thomas.

Tullylish ABC boxer Jamie Doyle

Jamie's mother Mary said her family have been "so thankful to have so much support from everyone, our families, friends, neighbours, even people we don't know".

She said the family were grateful for the medical care Jamie had received in Spain.

"It will take him a while to get back to himself but he's a great fighter," she said.

"Even (the) nurses and doctors are amazed by him. They said he's definitely a miracle."

A fund-raising event for Jamie will be held at Tullylish GAC from 11am on Sunday, January 30.

Around a dozen Gaelic football teams, including Tyrone Masters and Down Masters, will take part in a Sevens tournament from noon.

Exhibition boxing matches involving around eight Irish clubs will also be held at Tullylish on the same day.

All events will adhere to Covid restrictions.

Donations towards Jamie's medical bills and costs can be made via www.gofundme.com/f/help-save-jamies-life

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