The Duke of Sussex speaks to Blake McCaughey during the 2023 WellChild Awards at the Hurlingham Club in London.  Photo by Yui Mok/PA Wire.

Belfast Giants fan with rare gift of genetic disorder Duke of Sussex owns a shirt

Blake McCaughey (15), from Tandragee, has spent much of his life battling the condition after being born with two chromosomes deleted and abnormal muscle fibers.

On Thursday night Prince Harry was snapped receiving the Inspirational Person award alongside George Hall (11) from Skipton, North Yorkshire.

Blake and his family gave Duke a blue ice hockey shirt with his name on the back.

Harry used his first appearance in the UK since June to reflect on the events of the past 12 months when he was forced to miss the awards as he fled to Balmoral in Aberdeenshire after his grandmother fell ill.

He said Queen Elizabeth II “let us all down” as she spoke fondly of the late King on the night of his death.

“As you know, I was unable to attend the awards last year as my grandmother passed away,” added the director.

The Duke of Sussex speaks to Blake McCaughey during the 2023 WellChild Awards at the Hurlingham Club in London. Photo by Yui Mok/PA Wire.

“As you may know, he would be the first person to insist that I come with all of you instead of him, that’s why I know for a year that he looks down on us all. tonight, we are happy together, we continue to see such a beautiful community. “

Harry looked relaxed as he chatted with children and their families during a pre-event reception at the Hurlingham Club in south-west London earlier in the evening.

A WellChild supporter of over 15 years sat down with each of the small prize winners and asked them about their hobbies and interests.

He received a standing ovation after Poppy Higham (7), from Runcorn, danced to Ed Sheeran’s music.

Harry then played with the giraffe balloon and showed the prize winner his spinning head, causing the boy to pick it up and play with it.

Poppy, who looks after her 17-year-old sister Paige, told the PA news agency that she enjoyed talking to Harry about “my dancing, Disney and awards”.

His father, Daniel Higham, said: “We’re really proud of it (the award) – it’s amazing.

“He makes our lives easier sometimes when things don’t go well, he just gets on with it.

“I think he’s just taking it in his stride.”

It was Harry’s first public appearance in the UK since his high-profile High Court legal case against Mirror Group Newspapers earlier this year.

Last month the Belfast Giants organized a fundraiser as part of an effort to send one of their biggest fans on a dream trip to the US.

A GoFundMe page set up for ‘Blake’s Boston Dream’ has raised almost £13,000 towards the £15,000 target.

Giants head coach Adam Keefe has urged supporters to donate online after the campaign was set up by an idea from The Bridge – the Belfast Giants podcast.

The Odyssey Trust has already committed to donating £1,000 to help Blake and his family create special memories.

Before he was two years old, Blake was hospitalized 33 times and battled pneumonia 19 times.

He also has irreversible intestinal failure, which means he cannot eat or drink and is fed through a tube.

In May 2017, the young man had to undergo open heart surgery and was given a donor heart valve.

Two years later, her health deteriorated again as her stomach and intestines stopped absorbing nutrients correctly.

This caused a dramatic weight loss, as well as a drop in heart rate and blood pressure, and the boy ended up spending the next seven months in Craigavon ​​Regional Hospital before being discharged.

Blake was then brought to the gastroenterology team at the Royal Belfast Children’s Hospital that December, with total parenteral nutrition (TPN) his last hope.

His TPN runs about 16 hours a day to keep his body full of vitamins, minerals and calories.

Blake spent another three years at the Royal and was admitted to London’s Greater Ormond Street Hospital for eight months.

However, he has returned to his home since last December.

To donate, visit

#Belfast #Giants #fan #rare #gift #genetic #disorder #Duke #Sussex #owns #shirt

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *