Sister donating her kidney, granted temporary visa
A chance call into to LBC’s Julia Hartley-Brewer’s, afternoon talk show has led to married father of four, Oliver Camerons desperate attempt to finally have his much needed kidney transplant.
Last February, Mr Cameron called in to add to a discussion on immigration in which he spoke of his plight with the Home Office who had originally refused his sister in Jamaica, Keisha Rushton, who is a perfect donor match, a temporary visa to the UK so she could donate one of her kidneys to her brother.
Mr. Cameron, a 38 year old plumber from Stoke Newington suffered near fatal renal failure in 2012 caused by medication he was taking for his diabetes and has to undergo dialysis for up to eight hours every day, which drains every once of energy from him, rendering him unable to work.
A kidney transplant operation was scheduled for last October and Mr Cameron borrowed £700 he could hardly afford, to fund his sisters visa application, but when his sister visited the British High Commission in Kingston, following her visa application for she and her baby son, she was given a letter and instructed not to open it until she was outside.
Ms Rushton’s application was rejected by the British High Commission on the grounds that she may not return to Jamaica after the operation. A letter, signed by “Entry Clearance Officer 5”, concluded: “I am not satisfied that you genuinely intend a short visit only to the UK and that you will leave the UK at the end of the visit.”
The 40 year old mother-of-seven said she had no intention of staying in the UK as she had children an elderly mother and a hairdressing job at home.
Having a kidney transplant would mean Mr Cameron, who came to the UK from Jamaica 15 years ago and is a British Citizen, would be free of dialysis, have a better quality of life and able to work again. Without his sisters kidney, he could remain on the donor list for 3 years or more.
At the time a confused and disappointed Oliver Cameron said: “By taking a donor from within my family, we’re ensuring that another organ could go to someone else. But the system is not built to take these things into consideration. From what I have seen, it’s built to keep people who want to do good things out.”
Even a plea from Diane Abbott, religious leaders, migrant groups and medical staff at the Royal London Free Hospital didn’t help, but following a campaigns by Julia Hartley-Brewer and The Independent, Immigration minister James Brokenshire personally examined the case and overturned the original decision yesterday (Tuesday).
On hearing the good news, a relieved Mr Cameron told The Independent: “This will make such a difference to myself and my family. I called my sister with the news and she was just so pleased. We are hoping she will be in London by the end of this week and the operation can take place in the next few weeks”.
However one obstacle remains as Mr Cameron explained “I had to go into debt to apply for the visa and the delay means I can no longer cover the whole of my sister’s air fare. It’s frustrating because as I get one step closer it just seems another obstacle presents itself.”
In a tweet sent by Julia Hartley-Brewer, she appealed to both Virgin Atlantic and Richard Branson for help with getting Keisha Rushton to London to give her brother one of her kidneys.
— Julia Hartley-Brewer (@JuliaHB1) April 22, 2014