Race Against Time
Twenty three year old May Brown needs a bone marrow transplant to survive: her sister's a perfect match but she lives in Nigeria and has been refused a visitors visa to enter the UK. For May and her husband, Mike, the Home Office decision is a huge set-back. They had their hopes resting on the transplant and fear what will happen next. There are no other matches for May on the register kept by the African and Caribbean Leukaemia Trust, where staff have mounted a social media campaign to challenge the Government's decision.
The Home Office reasoning is that May's sister, Martha, doesn't meet the income threshold for a visitor's visa - as a teacher her wages are only around £200 a month. For Orin Lewis, from the ACLT, this overlooks the compassionate grounds which he is urging the Minister to take into account. Grace Dent tracks May's private fight against acute myeloid leukaemia alongside the public pressure for a reversal of the decision
May is in an isolation unit in the hospital at the start of the recordings and hasn't seen her two year old daughter, Selina, for three months. With her chemotherapy underway she is discharged to be seen as an outpatient and goes back to Weymouth to be with Mike and Selina. The couple's marriage was investigated for more than two years before immigration officers were satisfied that it was genuine. Now it's another waiting game as the case for allowing Martha in is reconsidered: Grace Dent tracks what happens next.