The deportation of Myrtle Cothill, a 92-year-old widow who has been ordered by the Home Office to fly back to South Africa on Tuesday, has been temporarily halted.
Over 75,000 people signed an online petition to allow the elderly widow suffering from heart, lung and eye conditions, to live out her final days with her daughter, Mary Wills, in the United Kingdom.
While no permanent decision has been made on Cothill’s case, the BBC confirmed that the Home Office has temporarily halted moves while awaiting new medical reports.
Wills told the publication that her mother is overwhelmed. “It has been a long, hard road and it has been very tearful,” she said.
She continued: “Our fingers are crossed that the Home Office will see the light and let her stay for good.”
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’s self-supporting; she gets a widow’s pension from my late dad of £300 a month.”
She continued: “She will not be costing England a penny. She will just be living out her last days with me.”
Immigration adviser at International Care Network, James Davies, said: “Myrtle does not have close family members in [South Africa] willing and/or able to look after her, and is dependent on both the emotional and physical care of her daughter in the UK. To take a decision to remove her is contrary to every human instinct or duty to care for our elders.”