Kidney transplant man Oliver Cameron appeals for the £700 needed to pay for his donor's flight
A man fighting to stay alive has hit an agonising hurdle in his quest to have a kidney transplant, after winning a battle against the Home Office earlier this week.
Oliver Cameron, a 38-year-old plumber from north London, suffered severe kidney failure in December 2012. He has not been able to work since and needs to have daily sessions of dialysis.
Yet he now faces a further delay in the life-changing operation he needs. For while he has succeeded in getting permission for his sister – who will donate one of her kidneys - to be allowed into the country, he cannot afford to get her here.
Mr Cameron’s sister, Keisha Rushton, turned out to be a perfect match and the transplant operation should have taken place last October. But it never happened as she lives in Jamaica and Home Office officials initially refused to give her a visa to come to Britain.
When Ms Rushton visited the High Commission in Kingston last year she was given a letter by an unnamed official which concluded: “I am not satisfied that you genuinely intend a short visit only to the UK and that you will leave the UK at the end of the visit.”
The Independent reported Mr Cameron’s plight earlier this month, and this week the Home Office dropped its opposition to Ms Rushton coming to Britain. But although she can now legally come here, Mr Cameron has no means to pay the hundreds it will cost in flights. Although he has managed to borrow £700 to pay for the visas for his sister and her baby son, he has no means of paying for the flights to get her to Britain.
He had hoped she would be in London by the end of this week, and that the operation “will make such a difference to myself and my family” would take place “in the next few weeks”. Although Mr Cameron is “grateful” his sister has finally been granted a visa, he admits “it's been a long road” to get this far.
Fortunately, readers of The Independent are already responding with donations which will be passed to Mr Cameron and go some way to meeting the costs of the flights. In the meantime, the father-of-four is still waiting for the operation he hopes will change his life.
He spoke of his frustration at the latest barrier to getting the transplant he needs. “I had to go into debt to apply for the visa and the delay means I can no longer cover the whole of my sister's air fare. It's frustrating because as I get one step closer it just seems another obstacle presents itself.”
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