Lawyer fights to keep sickly 92-year-old South African in UK

2016-02-20 08:37
Myrtle Cothill (Change.org)

Myrtle Cothill (Change.org)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Johannesburg – A 92-year-old South African woman, who sufferers from a chronic disease, could die from a broken heart if she is deported back to the country from the United Kingdom.

Myrtle Cothill's daughter Mary Wills said the deportation would "tear strips out of our hearts and probably would kill my mother".

Cothill has no family in South Africa to help care for her.

Her barrister Jan Doerfel has launched an online petition to call on the UK to grant Cothill leave to remain in the country.

Doerfel said Cothill has been living with her 66-year-old daughter Wills, a British citizen, since she arrived in the country in February 2014.

In the petition, Doerfel said Cothill suffers from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and macular degeneration which causes the loss of sight.

Cothill cannot walk unaided, has a chronic cough, poor vision, has difficulty hearing and is experiencing increasing confusion, he said.

"She is unable to care or cook for herself and relies on her daughter for emotional and physical support; Wills helps her mother with her personal care, housework, cooking and shopping."

Doerfel said Wills and her husband David, who is also British, cannot move to South Africa to look after Cothill because they have no right to live in the country.

David Wills also suffers from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and Parkinson’s disease, leaving him unable to travel as both diseases affect his mobility and breathing.

"Both David Wills’ and Cothill’s medical conditions are degenerative and likely to deteriorate further in the future," Doerfel said.

He said the Home Office refused to allow Cothill to remain in the UK and the courts did not believe they could overturn the office's decision.

"This would rip the family apart and leave them broken-hearted," Doerfel said.

He said the UK introduced an immigration rule in 2012 on adult dependant relatives which made it "almost impossible" for British citizens to bring their elderly parents to live with them during their "declining years".

In the petition, Mary Wills is quoted as saying: "My mother just cannot live on her own and emotionally, for her as well as for myself, it would really tear strips out of our hearts and probably would kill my mother [and maybe myself as well]."

In a letter addressed to the Home Office, Doerfel asked that Cothill's leave to remain in the UK be granted and that the immigration rule be amended to allow for the previous rule on family reunion to be put back in place.

Read more on:    uk

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
Traffic
Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

It may be time to share your ideas or send off that CV or network to get the ball rolling. The Moon moves into Aries adding an...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.