The Vermont men’s hockey team will host “Jack is Back” Night at Gutterson Fieldhouse this Saturday, Nov. 16, against No. 5 Providence in recognition of 15-year-old Shelburne native Jack Lyman. The Catamounts drafted Jack to the team prior to last season through Team IMPACT, a non-profit organization chartered to improve the quality of life for children facing life-threatening illnesses.
Jack will be joined by Kevin Rich, an eight-year-old from Mansfield, Mass., who was drafted through Tem IMPACT onto the Providence men’s hockey team last. Jack and Kevin, along with a captain from each team, will be recognized with a special puck drop ceremony before the game. The first 800 students in attendance will also receive a “Jack is Back” T-shirt, courtesy of Select Design.
Before last season, Vermont held a draft ceremony at Gutterson Fieldhouse to officially add Jack to the team. The Catamounts then hosted “Jack Lyman Day” during their home opener against Providence to honor their new teammate. Lyman took part in a pre-game ceremony with team captains H.T. Lenz and Kyle Murphy, and Jack Lyman t-shirts were given out to students in attendance.
Beginning when he was just 18 months old, Jack experienced a number of episodes similar to seizures. At the age of 6, after a severe episode where he stopped breathing, he was diagnosed with Catecholaminergic Polymorphic Ventricular Tachycardia. In its simplest terms, CPVT is a heart disease that causes “electrical” problems within the heart.
With this diagnosis, Jack has an increased risk of having another severe episode and is on a treatment plan to help decrease the odds of an additional CPVT episode. Undergoing experimental surgery, multiple heart medications, and the use of a heart monitor, Jack is continuing to beat the odds. He exemplifies what it means to be a fighter and has helped to motivate his new teammates.