21 July 2023

Giants Shipping Blake up to Boston!

Image for Giants Shipping Blake up to Boston!
The Stena Line Belfast Giants are proud to announce the launch of a brand-new fundraising campaign in support of the incredible Blake McCaughey.

15-year-old Blake, who was born with two chromosome deletions and abnormal muscle fibres, lives with a rare genetic disorder - irreversible intestinal failure, which has led to him being designated nil by mouth, meaning that he is unable to consume any form of food, drink or medication via his mouth.

By the time he was 16 months old, Blake had been admitted to hospital on 33 occasions and battled pneumonia 19 times. In May 2017, Blake underwent successful open-heart surgery, where he received a donor heart valve. Despite recovering well, Blake's health declined again in 2019 as his gut and bowel stopped absorbing nutrients, and his heart rate, blood pressure, and body temperature were functioning at a dangerously low level.

In December 2019, the gastroenterology team in Belfast moved Blake onto Total Parental Nutrition (TPN), which feeds directly into his heart via a Broviac line. Blake's TPN runs for 16 hours to ensure that his body remains hydrated, and he receives the calories, vitamins, and minerals required to keep his organs functioning.

Since December 2022, Blake has been at home and cannot sit upright for any length of time without his bowel obstructing, causing unimaginable pain. Because of this, Blake spends the vast majority of his days lying flat on his back.

Blake has now been asked to meet the transplant team at Birmingham Children's Hospital later this year to undergo two weeks of tests and meetings to establish whether he is eligible for a small bowel transplant.

Adam Keefe, head coach of the Belfast Giants, said: "For many years now, Blake has embodied what it means to be a Belfast Giants fan. His unwavering, ever-present support for the team is nothing short of inspirational and we all feel so fortunate that he's such an important part of our Giants family.

"There's absolutely no doubt that it's been an incredibly tough few years for Blake, and his family, and we want to show our support and appreciation through this fundraising initiative. Blake is a remarkable young man, and I would urge all ice hockey supporters - Giants fan or not, to help us raise as much money as possible to get Blake to Boston."

In support of the Giants' fundraising efforts, The Odyssey Trust has committed to donate £1,000 towards this invaluable cause.

For more information or to support this invaluable cause, please click here.

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