“A weight has been lifted off


“A weight has been lifted off me” says elderly woman given permission to stay in the UK

A 92-year-old widow facing deportation back to South Africa, has been given permission to remain in the UK.

“A weight has been lifted off


Over 150,000 people signed an online petition to allow elderly widow, Myrtle Cothill, suffering from heart, lung and eye conditions, to live out her final days with her daughter, Mary Wills, in the United Kingdom.

The UK government granted Cothill limited leave to remain due to the “compassionate and exceptional circumstances” of the case.

Cothill told the BBC that the decision was “too wonderful”.

“I feel like a weight has been lifted off me, I want to thank everyone who had supported me,” she said.

“Last month had been truly horrendous.”

The decision for Cothill to stay is based on the fact that she will have no recourse to public funds.

Wills brought her mother from KwaZulu Natal to the UK on a six-month visitor visa in 2014. When her health deteriorated, Wills and her husband applied for her to stay permanently.

However, the Home Office rejected the application in December as her condition was not considered “life-threatening” and that “suitable medical treatment” was available in South Africa.

Wills told the Guardian that officials said her mother should go back to South Africa and seek help from the Red Cross, and offered to pay for her flight and give her £1,000 to help her on her way.

“I want to know why she can’t stay, with human rights, to live with me? She’s not going to bring any harm to England,” Wills said last year.

She continued: “She will not be costing England a penny. She will just be living out her last days with me.”

Cothill’s most recent medical report indicated that there would be a “considerable risk of mortality” within three months if she returned to South Africa.