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Belfast boxer Stephen McMullan to return home after nine-month hospitalisation due to fight-induced brain injury


Stephen McMullan

Stephen McMullan

Stephen McMullan

A Belfast boxer that has spent the last nine months in hospital will be able to return home next month, his family has confirmed.

Stephen McMullan was brought into the city’s Royal Victoria Hospital in December, the day after his fight in the Ulster Elite senior boxing finals, in which he had sustained a brain injury following his loss to Monkstown's Charlie Boyle.

The young fighter was initially told by doctors that he may never be able to move again, but thankfully his condition has much improved.

After spending five weeks in ICU, including Christmas and New Year, the heavyweight fighter, who boxed out of north Belfast’s Newington Amateur Boxing Club, moved to the stroke ward a few months ago to continue his recovery.

In April, he was transferred to Musgrave brain injury unit for "intense rehabilitation”.

The 25-year-old’s sister Claire announced that he will get out of hospital on September 15, and welcomed any of Stephen’s friends and family to come and celebrate his homecoming, but stressed that his welcome party will take place on a later date.

"He will be absolutely delighted to see everyone,” she added.

A fundraising page for the boxer was set up by his cousin and is so far sitting at more than £12,000, with the family initially hoping to raise just £5,000.

The money will go towards helping his family afford his intensive rehabilitation and an Eyegaze computer system, which he will need to enable him to communicate with others.

Claire previously told the Belfast Telegraph that any funds not used towards Stephen’s recovery will be donated to the ICU and Stroke Ward in the Royal.

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She also expressed her deep gratitude for all the medical staff who have helped Stephen to date, as well as those who have prayed for her family and donated money to “help him on his journey”.

Claire further thanked former Belfast boxing world champion Carl Frampton for sending an encouraging video message to the recovering fighter, who also worked full-time as a joiner and kitchen-fitter.

If you would like to donate to Stephen’s fundraising page, you can do so here.

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