A great-grandmother from Hartlepool is still in limbo as she waits to learn if she will be allowed to stay in Australia – or deported on medical grounds.
Fran Davies, 77, emigrated from the town to Perth in 2009 to be with her only surviving family members after her husband died.
She is appealing to the Australian authorities after her application for a permanent visa was refused due to her having a serious blood disorder and other health problems, which authorities say would be a burden to the country’s healthcare system.
Almost two years on Fran is still in the dark as to whether she will be allowed to stay with her family.
An appeal process is going through Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) and Fran and her family hope to get a decision soon.
Fran’s daughter Karen Brabham said: “Before Christmas we were asked to provide more medical information and also pay for another medical opinion with a medical officer of The Commonwealth, to which we have just received a response. A medical officer of The Commonwealth has accessed mum’s conditions and has found that she still does not meet the health requirements.
“The AAT are stating that mum’s ongoing treatment will continue to be a significant cost to the Australian community.”
The family were invited to respond earlier this week.
Fran, who was married to Brian Davies and used to run Brus Hardware shop in Hartlepool, developed the blood disorder about 18 months after moving.
She also has arthritis, and her family fear moving back to England would have serious consequences to her health.
Fran, who recently celebrated becoming a great-grandmother for the second time, has made a new life for herself in Australia and many new friends.
Karen added: “Mum is a very strong woman and throughout all of her medical problems and with this immigration nightmare hanging over her head, she has always remained very positive and tries not to let it drag her down.
“However, I being the person that knows her best, know that she inwardly and privately gets anxious and sheds the odd tear.
“We all had a wonderful Christmas though and mum continues to do her activities and sewing for third world countries with her friends at her church.”
Karen has met with an immigration lawyer to discuss the best way forward.