A New Zealand woman who rushed home from Australia fears she might never see her cancer-stricken dying mum again after being denied an exception to quarantine regulations.
Under new Covid-19 rules, anyone returning from overseas is required to be put in 14 days of quarantine or managed self-isolation in a government-approved facility in an effort to keep out coronavirus.
Aviation security officers keep an eye on returning New Zealanders who are being put in managed isolation. Photo / File
Renee West and her two sons, aged 9 and 5, flew to Auckland from Melbourne on Saturday night and are being kept in managed self-isolation at M Social Hotel in Auckland.
Her application for an exception was not approved.
“My 59-year-old mother has been diagnosed with terminal cancer and has been given two to three weeks left to live by her doctor,” West said.
Renee West and her two sons are being kept in managed self-isolation at MSocial Hotel at Auckland’s waterfront. Photo / File
“We have had to go into the two-week quarantine and I am scared we won’t get to her in time to say our goodbyes. It just seems so heartless.”
West and her husband are New Zealanders and moved to Melbourne about nine years ago.
“I haven’t seen mum for about three years. I am struggling with the fact I may not get to see my mother who is my best friend, and not sure how I am meant to deal with this,” she said.
The family were meant to come over for a two-week holiday in April, but the coronavirus outbreak made that impossible.
Her mother, Lesley Haughey, had breast cancer and a mastectomy 11 years ago.
“Sadly, in the last couple of weeks, my sister and father, who live in Stratford, Taranaki with my mum, noticed she wasn’t herself and she was struggling to use the left side of her body, so my sister called an ambulance which took her to Wanganui hospital for tests as they thought she had a mild stroke and had a brain bleed,” West said.
“It turned out she had lung and brain cancer and it had spread to all her vital organs … now she is completely riddled with it and treatment isn’t an option.”
West rushed home after her mum said her one wish was to have her and her grandsons home to say her final goodbyes.
“It’s the worst news in the worst situation. My biggest fear is not being able to make it back and that she passes before our 14 day quarantine is over,” she said.
“It would mean we wouldn’t be able to grant her last wish but also that I would have to grieve in a hotel room with my two boys alone.”
West described her mum as the most caring and thoughtful person anyone could ever meet.
“She always puts others first and is always there for anyone in need. She is never one to ask for anything in return,” West added.
“Mum didn’t even tell us she was unwell at the start as she doesn’t want anyone to worry about her.”
The Ministry of Health has been approached for comment.
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