A mum with terminal cancer is locked in a grim life or death battle with the Home Office in a bid to get the medical care she needs.
Priscilla Ryan, 64, comes from Zimbabwe but fell ill and was diagnosed with Stage 3 Oesophageal cancer shortly after arriving to visit her two daughters in Milton Keynes a year ago.
The daughters, Cher Butcher and Kelly Ryan are both British citizens because their late father was born here.
Priscilla married him in 1983 – a year too early to qualify for British citizenship herself.
As a result, she is classed as a “health tourist” and the family is facing bills of £50,000 plus for her treatment.
Meanwhile Cher and Kelly are desperately applying for a visa so they are not forced to send their dying mum home to a poverty-stricken country where there is virtually no medical care.
But SEVEN months after making the application, they have heard nothing from the Home Office.
“We’re at our wit’s end. Our mum is dying before our eyes,” said Cher, who lives on Fishermead.
“We’re desperately trying to raise the money to pay for her treatment but the hospital and GPs here won’t see her because they think she’s a health tourist.”
Priscilla’s cancer is spreading so quickly that she can no longer swallow. A consultant from Oxford has given hope by offering surgery to remove the tumours.
“Even if we raised the money, we don’t have the visa to do this,” said Cher.
The operation to remove the growths in Priscilla’s gullet will cost £50,000.
Her daughter has launched a fundraising page on http://gofundme.com/2hz3x4s
Priscilla was given between six and 12 months to live by doctors in June last year.
“She’s already lasted seven months, We fear she only has five more,” said her daughter.
A spokesman for the Home Office, said: “Each visa application is carefully considered on its individual merit. Where there are exceptional circumstances, every effort is made to expedite an application.”