Northern Ireland news

Co Down boxer who suffered brain aneurysm in Spain will fly home on Thursday after 'miracle recovery'

Tullylish ABC boxer Jamie Doyle suffered a seizure while in Lanzarote with his parents and best friend before Christmas

A YOUNG Co Down boxer who suffered a brain aneurysm in Spain is out of hospital and will fly home on Thursday.

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.

His parents feared he might suffer long-term damage due to the bleed on his brain.

But his uncle Willie Fitzpatrick said Jamie's swift recovery has been "a miracle".

The teenager got out of hospital on Wednesday and is staying in an apartment with his parents until their flight home.

"He's talking, he's walking, he has had no side affects at all," Mr Fitzpatrick said.

"We were thinking he wouldn't be able to fly for a long time but the doctors did CT scans and said everything was fine.

"Our prayers have been answered.

"We feel like we've won the lottery but the lottery wouldn't even come close to it.

"You can't put a price on life."

He said Jamie will go to hospital in Belfast for a check-up after he returns home.

But he said doctors in Spain have been amazed by the teenager's progress and have given him the go-ahead to return to boxing in a year.

"He said to his mother there: 'mummy I feel like I can do back-flips'," he said.

Mr Fitzpatrick has been caring for Jamie's younger brothers Jude (16) and Callum (13) while their parents stayed in Spain.

The family also has older sons, 25-year-old Thomas and Dominic (23).

Mr Fitzpatrick, who coaches Down Gaelic Football Masters, said Jamie's brothers are looking forward seeing him.

"They're all excited now they know Jamie's coming home," he said.

He said the family had been overwhelmed with support from people "from both sides of the divide".

"People who we don't know have donated to a GoFundMe appeal," he said.

"It's amazing how everyone has just come together as one.

"Jamie said to tell everyone thank you for all their help and support."

During Jamie's time in hospital, Mr Fitzpatrick tried to keep his spirits up by posting dances on TikTok.

"Jamie said I kept him smiling and kept his spirits high," he said.

"He's a real fighter."

A fund-raising event for Jamie, including a Gaelic football Sevens tournament and exhibition boxing matches, will be held at Tullylish GAC from 11am on Sunday.

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

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