J'can grandmother denied UK visa to attend grandson's funeral

Saturday, April 20, 2019

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LONDON, United Kingdom — The Home Office is to review the case of a Jamaican grandmother who has been refused a visa to attend the funeral of her grandson from Dagenham.

According to Barking and Dagenham Post, 67-year-old Ivy Powell, wanted to fly to the UK to say her final goodbyes to her grandson, 13-year-old Damary Dawkins who lost his long battle with leukaemia last month.

But her visa application was refused after the Home Office claimed she was unable to support herself financially despite her being retired.

However, after the Post highlighted her plight the Home Office announced they would take a second look at her application.

A spokesman said, “We have reviewed this case in light of the compassionate circumstances and are attempting to make contact with Mrs Powell to discuss this further.”

Damary had been diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in 2014 and, after undergoing chemotherapy, was told he needed a transplant.

However, none of his family were a match so campaign #match4damary was launched by charity African Caribbean Leukaemia Trust (ACLT) to find a stem cell donor.

Sadly, despite a match being found in the US and Damary undergoing the transplant he passed away six weeks after his 13th birthday, the article says.

The young footballer's plight hit the headlines after Manchester City star Raheem Sterling tweeted about it and visited Damary -- part of the Crystal Palace elite development squad -- in Great Ormond Street Hospital.

The England star paid a touching tribute to Damary after his death, lifting up his shirt to reveal a picture of the schoolboy after scoring his second goal during a 5-0 win over the Czech Republic last month.

Powell's daughter Nadine said they made an application on April 4 which was rejected 12 days later.

“We were going to support her, give her somewhere to stay,” she said.

“They didn't take into account the reason for her application.

“She's coming to say goodbye to her grandson for the last time.”

Nadine said she and her husband Tony, who both work, had sent a range of documents to the Home Office to prove they could financially support Ivy during her stay.

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