As the world’s first interactive child ambulance ‘BUMBLEance’, we provide safe and comfortable transportation for Ireland’s youngest patients all over the island of Ireland.
BUMBLEance serve to help children with serious and life limiting conditions who needs transportation. Here are the stories from some our King and Queen bees who use our service that help them get to their hospital appointments and respite care centres.
Marley Mae Mitten
Robyn’s mom Linda explains how her pregnancy was going great up until 32 weeks gestation. Linda was having a regular scan when it was spotted that their baby Robyn was a bit on the small side so ‘I was sent for a more detailed scan in my local hospital. The next day where they informed me that something had showed up in her brain and kidneys and that I was going to be referred to the National Maternity Hospital Holles Street in Dublin. I got a call from Holles Street within an hour to offer me an appointment for the following Friday where they offered me an amniocentesis which I went ahead with. They mentioned a few things that it might be and two days later we were given the devastating news that our little girl had Edwards Syndrome also known as Trisomy 18.
We were told that she was “incompatible with life” and we were offered a termination which we refused. We were also told she might pass before, during or just after birth but chances of surviving past that were very slim. Robyn will be 4 in January please god and she is very much compatible with life’!!
Robyn was born with many medical issues, she attends Crumlin hospital regularly for Cardiology, Orthopaedics, Surgical, Audiology and Ophthalmology. She is non- verbal and we are currently trying to learn Làmh Signs.
Robyn’s mom explains how ‘We have so many appointments all of which were deferred because of Covid19 but we are so blessed to be able to use BUMBLEance for our many trips to Dublin. It’s such a fantastic service. Robyn’s first trip with BUMBLEance was when they transferred her from Holles Street to Crumlin to meet with her Cardiologist and we have been using BUMBLEance ever since. Everyone associated with BUMBLEance are so kind especially the drivers who are so lovely and patient. Robyn particularly loves all the lights and music on board. It is such a relief to be picked up and dropped off outside our door knowing that she will travel safely with the best care and that the added stress of traffic and parking are taken away from an already stressful appointment.’
Robyn has battled her way through many illnesses since she was born, in her first few days she stopped breathing twice and had to be christened in hospital. She spent most of her first year in hospital suffering with pneumonia and double pneumonia many times but she has surpassed all expectations and she is nothing short of a Little Miracle. She is a very happy little girl and her beautiful smile brings lots of joy to her Mum Linda, Dad Robbie, her 2 big Sisters Karen and Ali and her little brother Ross every day!
Kaitlyn’s mother Sarah has shared Kaitlyn’s story about her Cancer diagnosis and the journey she has been on. “There’s our girl, Kaitlyn!
Nikita O Connor
Queen bee Nikita’s mother has shared “These are Nikitas beads of courage, for every milestone such as a lumbar puncture or chemo, she gets a bead to document her Cancer journey.
BUMBLEance is such a life changing experience for us. We add ‘Bee beads’ for each journey Nikita goes on. Before using BUMBLEance Nikita was anxious going to the hospital and was upset if anyone approached her. There were no smiles on Hospital day.
Then we met driver Áine and the Bee vroom aka BUMBLEance! Now she grabs her BUMBLEance Bee teddy and tears towards the door. She is chatty and engaged when we get to the hospital, sharing her smiles and laughter with everyone around!Starting the day off on the right foot being treated like the Queen Bee Nikita is, has made all the difference and we can’t thank all the staff at BUMBLEance enough.”
Noah was born March 2011 with a very rare syndrome called Escobar syndrome. Noah’s syndrome effects him physically and he will be a wheelchair user for life. He has undergone many surgeries during his 10+ years on this earth and he does so with laughter, grace and most of all unbeatable courage. In September 2021 Noah almost died during a routine procedure and the whole event was absolutely terrifying for us all as a family.
Noah faces further procedures in the future and although we are all extremely nervous Noah’s attitude continues to inspire us to keep going and believe all will be ok.
Noah’s mom Sharon says ‘Charities like BUMBLEance give families like ours fantastic support and allow our children to enjoy moments in life that would ordinarily be tough or scary’
Jack Beattie was born on the 23rd of March 2011, and lives with his mum and dad, Ruth and Kenneth.
Jack was born with Osteogenesis Imperfecta which is also known as Brittle Bone Disorder. Jack attends Temple Street Children’s Hospital for regular appointments and to receive his treatment which is known as pamidronate infusion. Jack’s treatment lasts for five hours a day over two days.
In October 2013, Jack was the first child from Donegal to use BUMBLEance. Jack’s journey was much more comfortable when travelling on BUMBLEance and he spent it playing with the iPad, watching DVD’s, singing and laughing. Jack’s mum Ruth describes it saying they “arrived in Temple Street, stress free and happy”. Two days later when Jack was discharged, his eyes lit up when he saw Fred and Paul from the BUMBLEance crew arriving at the hospital.
Little Jack sums up how happy he was on BUMBLEance saying “thumbs up” and “high-five to BUMBLEance”!!!
Leah and Ellie Woulfe
Leah and Ellie Woulfe are from Bruff in Co. Limerick. Leah is 11 and Ellie is 8 years old. They have Ehlers Danlos Syndrome which means they have defective collagen. Because of this they have severe joint pain and dislocations along with lots of other complications. Travelling by car the 200 km to hospital appointments was once a nightmare but not now thanks to BUMBLEance they both can rest and be so comfortable lying down whilst watching movies and playing on the PlayStation. For me their mammy, all the stress is taken away and I can relax. I no longer have to deal with emergencies on my own on long journeys. Everyone in BUMBLEance is so lovely to deal with and it’s such a wonderful service for children like Leah and Ellie who need to use this service to get to their hospital appointments.
Mother of the girls Mairead says ‘Both Ellie and Leah love to travel on board the BUMBLEance, making the journey to hospital easier and more comfortable. ‘Leah says she just loves it and Ellie thinks it’s amazing. Yesterday we pulled up at Joel’s restaurant here in Dublin and when they got out of the car they spotted the BUMBLEance. Ellie’s face lit up and she said do you think our driver Chris is here. Tayto park was well and truly forgotten about’
Shaye was diagnosed with Hemophagocytic Lymph histiocytosis (HLH), an extremely rare blood disease that no premature baby in Ireland had ever survived. He also has adrenal insufficiency and undiagnosed skeletal dysplasia. This means Shaye must take medication every day and he also takes special formula feeds. Shaye spent the first 5 weeks of his life in hospital where we learned about constant hand sanitising and apron wearing long before Covid-19 has begun.
Everyday life for Shaye is definitely different. Thankfully, with treatment, Shaye recovered from, and has never had a relapse of HLH, but Shaye is still very small for his age – he’s four now but still wears aged 1-2 years clothing, his hips were both dislocated as a baby and he wears splints on his feet.
Shaye’s mom Veronica says ‘Despite the challenges he faces, Shaye is full of energy and is loved by everyone he meets. He really is very energetic – he loves the trampoline and playing with his three older siblings. He likes Peppa Pig and has a total obsession with Happy Birthday – he sings it every day. He’s just an absolute dote and he’s so loving – I was putting him to sleep the other night in my arms and he looked up at me and said, “Mum, you’re so lovely“ He is such a miracle boy and we are so proud of him. We are so blessed to have the BUMBLEance for our hospital journeys. Shaye loves it so much and is always so excited, He loves to watch Peppa Pig and we read the lovely books onboard too. He has a gorgeous blanket that was given to him from BUMBLEance and he uses it when he takes a nap. It makes it much easier as Shaye often feels sick on the journey and I am there right beside him to mind him.
‘We are so thankful to everyone at BUMBLEance for their help and support.’