Medical supplies for sick children worth €800 were stolen from the BUMBLEance at the National Ploughing Championships yesterday.
Medical equipment including oxygen masks, bandages, and sterile equipment were taken from two cupboards in the children’s ambulance.
The BUMBLEance transports extremely ill children and their parents from their homes to hospitals around the country.
Tony Heffernan, founder and CEO of the Saoirse Foundation, which operates the interactive ambulance, was helping a mother and her sick child to access the service when the goods were stolen.
“I was explaining to a woman how we could get her child to Crumlin. I was taking her through the process.
“I just turned around for two minutes and it was gone. It’s completely senseless,” he said.
“Two of the medical lockers were opened and basically cleaned out. Someone had filled a backpack or something, I’d say.”
“People were very generous at the Ploughing, and they were trying to help us, but there’s always one person who’ll try and ruin everything.
“It was one negative in a very positive three days,” he told RTE Radio One this morning.
“The €800 is the equivalent to two Angel trips which is the last trip we make with children before they die.
“I think we’ll just have to take this one on the chin.”
BUMBLEance is the world's first interactive children's ambulance service which transports children, for free, from all over Ireland, to and from children's hospitals, respite, treatment centres and hospices. Parents can travel with their child in the back and relax while they and their loved ones are taken care of by the paramedic and EMT onboard.
The BUMBLEance service also provides 'Angel Trips' - the final journey a sick child and their parents take together before the child 'grows their angel wings.'
The team are appealing to people to support them by texting BUZZ to 50300 to donate €4.