Nottingham Panthers and Belfast Giants worked together to greet a special guest at their recent Elite League match.
Dáithí MaGowan a five-year-old from Ireland who suffers with hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS) was welcomed to the Motorpoint Arena in Nottingham by club mascot Paws.
For the Panthers’ game versus Belfast Giants the young fan was given VIP treatment enjoying the game from an executive suite.
Panthers’ Captain Stephen Lee was made aware that Dáithí and his family would be visiting and got the gears in motion.
MaGowan has been on the transplant list for over three years awaiting a new heart.
His father Maírtín Mac Gabhann has appealed for Northern Ireland to change their transplant legislation.
Currently they are the only region left in Britain to not operate the soft opt-out rule.
This means that consent for donation is presumed unless a person specifically signs to say they wish not to have their organs donated.
In the North of Ireland, the laws state that if you want to be a donor you must sign up via the NHS organ donation register.
This has obviously made it harder for Dáithí to receive the treatment he needs.
Mac Gabhann appealed to his countries’ government when speaking to The Irish News, saying: “the time is now”.
He continued, stating: “for the benefit of all those people waiting on the gift of life”.
Belfast Giants showed their support by re-tweeting the Panthers’ post of Paws with Dáithí:
— Belfast Giants (@BelfastGiants) January 5, 2022
To which Dáithí’s Twitter page responded:
— Donate4Dáithí (@Donate4Daithi) January 5, 2022
It ended up being a good day for the five-year-old who saw his side thrash Nottingham Panthers 7-2.
It proved to be the straw that broke the camel’s back as Wallace was fired after this game.
Dáithí won’t be too concerned with that though as he waits for that new heart he so desperately deserves.