A groundswell of community support is building behind 15-year-old Dylan Battye, a promising athlete who nearly died after contracting a mysterious infection.
In February, the Grade 10 Lord Tweedsmuir Secondary student was hospitalized with what was initially thought to be a bad cold.
A week later he was put into a drug-induced coma and placed on life support at B.C. Children’s Hospital. He was in a fight for his life because the virus attacked his heart. He survived the ordeal, but doctors were forced to amputate one of his legs.
Battye, a defenceman for the national U16 junior Canadian Ball Hockey team, is now healthy and at home. He was released from hospital May 12. He faces a long recovery while his hopes of competing internationally are temporarily on hold. His team is bound for the world juniors this June in the Czech Republic.
Battye, an athletic, fit teen who was in top shape when the illness struck, also plays football for the Lord Tweedsmuir Panthers.
His Cloverdale family – of friends, teachers, teammates and coaches – are determined to help him recover and pursue his dreams by raising money to purchase an athletic prosthetic leg.
“I won’t let this beat me – that’s his attitude,” his mother Elena Battye told The Cloverdale Reporter.
A fundraising event is planned for June 15. Local businesses and individuals are being asked to contribute to the silent auction being organized by Lord Tweedsmuir Secondary, where they’re spreading word to all corners of the community.
“We are so grateful for the school’s support, “ Elena said. “It’s just been very overwhelming.”
Family friend Ron Rutley, head of the school’s performing arts department, says more auction items are needed to help make the event a success. Anyone wishing to donate may do so by calling the school at 604-574-7407 or Rutley’s cell phone number at 778-242-7566.
Tickets are $25 and available at the school office.
A trust account for Dylan Battye has also been set up at Envision Credit Union.
– The fundraising event for Dylan Battye is 6 p.m., June 15, at Thirsty Penguin Grillhouse, Langley Twin Rinks, 5700 Langley Byass.