AN eight-month-old baby who, against the odds, had a precious sleep over with her granny and grandad on Bere Island, has lost her brave battle for life.
Little Willow Rodgers, daughter of Bere Island native Fiona Harrington and her partner Dwain Rodgers, was born last March with a life-limiting condition.
The family lived in Dwain’s native Donegal, and it was Fiona’s wish to take Willow to her home on Bere Island for a sleepover with granny and grandad, her parents Colum and Ann Harrington.
Willow required oxygen, had a feeding tube and was on morphine so the long drive was not an option. But that dream came true in September for 28-year-old Fiona thanks to the children’s ambulance, BUMBLEance.
BUMBLEance provided a six-seater plane which picked up Willow, her parents and her nurse from Carrickfinn Airport, which is next to their home, and flew them to Kerry Airport where they were met by the charity’s ambulance on the runway. They then went to Bere Island and across on the ferry, which is run by Fiona’s father. The moving visit was reported in The Southern Star at the time. Fiona’s father Colum owns Bere Island Ferries, and her brother Sean owns Atlantic Towage and Marine. All Sean’s boats have the prefix, ‘Ocean’, including one named after his niece Ocean Willow.
Fiona was intent on thanking Bumbleance and has so far raised an incredible €28,000 for the charity through a challenging sea swim, as well as €5,000 for the Jack and Jill Foundation with contributions from her former primary school on Bere. Sadly Willow died earlier this week. Donations can still be made via www.justgiving.com/fundraising/fiona-harrington3