A special Donegal boy has accepted a prestigious invitation to join An Garda Siochana as a Little Blue Hero.
Rory McDevitt became the newest honorary member of the Bunbeg garda force yesterday – just a week before his fourth birthday.
Little Rory, who was born with life-limiting conditions, received the ultimate Garda treatment when he was presented with his own uniform and special duties under the Little Blue Heroes charity initiative.
As a child who is ‘obsessed’ with guards and firefighters, keeping Gweedore safe from baddies will be a duty undertaken by Rory with immense pride.
He was bursting with excitement when his new colleagues from Bunbeg station visited his home yesterday.
“They pulled out all the stops. They had the sirens and lights going. I don’t know what the neighbours thought was going on!”, Rory’s mum Claire Louise told Donegal Daily.
“It was just amazing. I couldn’t help but cry.”
The event was a special moment for all the family, with Rory’s parents Alan and Claire Louise, and his brothers and sisters – Lorcan, Cora and Lucas – all home for the occasion.
“The guards came and asked Rory did he want to be part of their team and watch out for bad guys. They asked him to help them with their job and they made it sound to be so important,” Claire Louise said.
Rory is a child who shows bravery every day. Born at 29 weeks, he had major health problems from birth and spent much of his early days in hospital in Dublin. He lives with a number of medical complexities, including cerebral palsy, epilepsy and requires tube feeding and round the clock care.
“We have great nursing support at night, then it’s down to ourselves to care for him during the day,” Claire Louise explained.
In spite of his challenges, Rory is a ray of sunshine to anyone who has the pleasure of meeting him.
Claire Louise said: “He is a social butterfly. For a wee boy that goes through so much, he is always happy, even though he is always in pain.
“He’s got so much love to give. He adores his auntie Sarah Marie McDevitt. He lights up when he sees her and his nurses.
“I feel so blessed to have him, after everything he is faced, he overcomes it all he amazes me every day.”
Rory has not been able to go to pre-school this year due to Covid-19, so Wednesday’s socially-distanced visit from gardaí was a highlight for all the family after an uncertain time.
“Especially right now, it’s really lovely to have these moments of joy and emotion because you don’t realise until you’re in the midst of it, how much it is affecting you,” Claire Louise said.
The McDevitt family are grateful for all the support they received during the pandemic crisis.
“We are so blessed to live in a country that provides so much support, there are no words to explain the amount of support we receive on a daily basis, not just from Little Blue Heroes, but from Jack and Jill, Bumbleance, and the HSE home care package,” Claire Louise said.
“As a family in the middle of the pandemic, we have been supported immensely by all these charities and organisations.
“The HSE is under so much pressure, but we are still provided with great support at this time. We’ve been faced with so much, we’d had to keep our contacts close-knit, but from a continuity of care point of view in the home, we are blessed to have our home care package.”
Even bigger celebrations are in store next week when Rory turns four – watch this space!
Little Blue Heroes is a charity established by Garda staff which aims to support local Gardaí in providing financial assistance to families in need in their local communities who have children undergoing long-term medical treatment for critical illness.
The foundation also aims to provide Garda themed distraction toys, activity books, and children’s events (e.g. Garda for a Day or Special Garda Open Days) for the children they support. To find out more or to donate, visit www.littleblueheroes.orgTags: