Wednesday 17 January 2018

BUMBLEance to lessen hospital sting

Amber Louise Jones (2) pictured here with her mother Sarah.
Amber Louise Jones (2) pictured here with her mother Sarah.

Owen O'Shea

IT IS an ambulance designed specifically for children – where all the intimidating medical equipment is hidden away.

And a two-year-old girl with a rare neuromuscular disease will be among the first to benefit from the world's first interactive ambulance today.

Amber Louise Jones from Castleisland, Co Kerry will board the BUMBLEance at her home this morning from where she will be transported to Temple Street Hospital for the results of tests which her family hopes will lead to a full diagnosis of her condition.

The BUMBLEance was launched in September by the Kerry-based Saoirse Foundation, set up in memory of the late Saoirse Heffernan who died after a brave battle with Batten's Disease in 2010.

It aims to take the stress and trauma out of long journeys for sick children and their families who have to travel to hospital appointments on public transport services.

Inside the BUMBLEance, all of the state of the art medical equipment is hidden away. A child and their parents can enjoy gadgets including an iPad Mini, Playstation, Nubi, sensory lighting and interactive games.

"We have had to go to Dublin by train with Amber Louise so many times," said her grandmother Trish Odell, "and she gets very upset because she knows she's going to hospital.

"It costs so much to travel by train and find accommodation and to try to feed Amber Louise on the train. It's very traumatic for her. She is such a wonderful girl, so this is just a lifesaver for us."

Amber, who needs full-time care, is believed to have mitochondrial disease which can cause muscle weakness, blindness and heart failure.

For more information see www.BUMBLEance.com

Irish Independent

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