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New patron Nuala pleads for old phones to fund children’s ambulance service

RTE weather presenter Nuala Carey has stepped into a new role as patron of BUMBLEance, the organisation with a specially dedicated children’s ambulance in the shape of a bumble bee.

BUMBLEance is the product of a charity set up by Tony and Mary Heffernan, who lost both their children to the rare Batten’s disease.

Their son Liam (5) died earlier this month and had his last trip to hospital in the BUMBLEance.

And Nuala has come on board to help raise awareness of the chariity. Much-needed funds for the 
service could provide a second 
similar ambulance before the end of this year.


Nuala said she was so moved by the Heffernan’s story she agreed without hesitation to become the BUMBLEance patron and help the Heffernans raise money.

“I vividly remember seeing Tony and Mary on the Late Late Show. You’d have to have the heart of a stone not to be moved,” Nuala told

“They knew the road ahead of them. There was no cure for the disease. They are wonderful and very special people. I have great admiration for them.

“BUMBLEance does not get any State funding and I just hope 
I can help in some small way,” she added.

Little Liam died earlier this month from the same rare disease that claimed the life of his sister Saoirse three years ago.

The Heffernan’s came up with the idea of the BUMBLEance having made endless long journeys to hospital with both their children.

The ambulance has it own Sony PlayStation and an iPad with full iTunes library of books and movies.

Tony says their “vision is to have one BUMBLEance for each province by the end of 2015 plus an additional BUMBLEance for Dublin.

“We want to be in a position to offer this service to every parent of a sick child that requires ambulance transportation,” he added.

They are now asking for donations of old mobile phones which will help raise funds for the worthy cause. Donations of €4 can also be made to BUMBLEance by texting BUZZ to 50300.