A fully vaccinated woman desperate to see her dad before he dies has been told she will need to fork out $7,500 or come to terms with missing out on her final farewell.
Anna Coffey’s 80-year-old dad John is in palliative care in a Melbourne hospital after suffering a stroke and doctors believe he has just days to live.
Ms Coffey, who has received both doses of the Moderna vaccine, flew to Sydney from the United States, but has been blocked from making the nine-hour drive to Melbourne.
Anna Coffey (top right) pictured with her dad John (front right). Picture: Nine/TodaySource:news.com.au
The 32-year-old arrived from New York six days ago and fears her dad will die before her mandatory 14-day quarantine period is up.
“The doctors can’t really make any guarantees whether he will make it tomorrow or to next week … I really just have to get there as fast as I possibly can,” Ms Coffey told Nine’s Today program on Tuesday.
“There’s a lot to do, so many documents to collect, so much red tape, it’s a full-time job right now.”
She told viewers she had been requested by NSW Health to provide more documentation from her dad’s doctors confirming he was in end-of-life care.
She has also been told to send proof of a booking on a $7,500 charter flight to Melbourne, which she cannot afford.
Anna Coffey has been blocked from seeing her dying dad. Picture: Nine/TodaySource:news.com.au
“Trying to find the money for that, I’m not really that confident to be honest,” she told the program.
“It’s not right the privilege of seeing your dying family member is reserved only for people with money.”
Ms Coffey has tested negative to Covid-19 three times since arriving in Australia and still has a lengthy battle ahead before she gets any closer to seeing her dad.
“There’s so many stage gates [and] so many processes to get through until I get the green light to go,” she said.
NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard addressed the issued in Tuesday’s press conference, telling reporters he had spoken with his Victorian counterpart Martin Foley on the matter.
“These issues are handled as personally and as sensitively as they can be, but there are rules further down the line where public servants apply the rules, and then we try and find the flexibility,” he said.
“We’ve asked our officials to look at it, and we’ll deal with it sensitively and as carefully as we can, and while also keeping the community safe.”
John, 80, (far left) is in palliative care in Melbourne. Picture: Nine/TodaySource:news.com.au
Prime Minister Scott Morrison emailed her a letter expressing his condolences, but said he was powerless to grant her a travel exemption himself.
“To be so close to home but still so far away from being able to see your father must be heartbreaking. I farewelled my own father last year and I know how important those last moments are,” part of his letter read.
“I am deeply sorry about what you are facing and I hope a solution can be found so you can see your father.”
NSW Health has been contacted by news.com.au for comment on the matter.
Mark Kilian and his wife, Annelli Gericke, flew in to Sydney from the US to see Mr Kilian’s dying dad in Queensland and were initially banned from seeing him.
They were granted permission to charter a plane to Brisbane on Wednesday last week after seven days in hotel quarantine.
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