A woman who needs a stem cell transplant will now be able to receive it from her Nigerian sister after the Home Office has reversed their decision on her visa application.
May Brown, a young mother to two-year-old daughter Selina- May and wife to ex- British soldier Mike Brown, has Acute Myeloid Leukaemia. Her sister Martha who lives in Nigeria, had her second visa request refused as the Home Office thought she would try to stay in the UK.
The decision was overturned when leading blood cancer charity, ACLT (African Caribbean Leukaemia Trust), launched an appeal last week (October 13), for the Home Office to review their decision due to the compassionate and exceptional circumstances regarding May Brown’s case. Consultants had previously confirmed May’s only chance of survival was to receive a stem cell transplant from a donor with a matching tissue type as hers. Martha had been identified as a 10 out of 10 match for her sister May.
An online petition was set up by ACLT which to date has surpassed 60,000 supporters. The blood cancer charity founded by Beverley De-Gale OBE and Orin Lewis OBE; parents to the UK’s first black individual to receive a stem cell transplant from a non-related person. The charity utilised national and social media to spread awareness, urging members of the public to support May by signing the petition and sharing it with their colleagues, friends and family. Appeal letters were also sent to the Home Secretary and the Immigration Minister Robert Goodwill MP.
It had been confirmed in the visa application Martha’s sister May Brown, would pay for her sister’s return flight and general living expenses, while providing accommodation for the duration of her stay in the UK. Yet, the visa request was refused.
May Brown, who lives with her husband and daughter in Dorset, is currently receiving her second round of intensive chemotherapy in King’s College Hospital, London.
The initial refusal letter from UK Visa’s & Immigration had said Martha did not meet the economic requirements as she was employed as a primary school teacher, earning 65,000 Naira (£222.88) per month.
It said it had to take into account her personal and economic circumstances in Nigeria, adding “Given the above I am not satisfied that you are a genuine visitor and will leave the UK at the end of your visit or that you have sufficient funds available to cover your costs whilst in the UK without working or accessing public funds.”
May Brown said:
“I am overjoyed for the U-turn the Home Office has taken regarding my sister Martha’s visa application. I would like to thank the British public and beyond, and my MP Richard Drax for their overwhelming support. I would also like to thank ACLT. I will forever be grateful for the love and support they have shown my family and me.”
The Home Office knew they were wrong. I would love to meet the individual who originally turned down the VISA request.
Anyway, this is brilliant news. Get well soon May.
Categories: UK News