Bristol

Sick South African woman's deportation threat dropped

Irene Nel and Desree Taylor
Image caption Irene Nel was taken ill when she visited her daughter Desree Taylor in Bristol seven years ago

The daughter of an ill South African woman facing deportation said she sobbed when she heard her mother could now stay in the UK.

Irene Nel, 75, came to Bristol on a tourist visa in 2012, but during her stay she suffered kidney failure and needs regular dialysis.

She was told she would have to leave Britain once her visa expired.

A family campaign included fundraising and gathering a petition with more than 120,000 signatures.

Mrs Nel's family said she needed dialysis three times a week and would not receive that treatment in South Africa.

Image caption Desree Taylor said she "used to dread" letters coming through the door

Her daughter, Desree Taylor, said: "When I heard the news I couldn't believe it. I thought we were going to have years of torment until she died."

She said her mother's health was not good at the moment and she had just been readmitted to hospital.

"I'm just making sure my mum is happy in the time that she does have with us.

"Mum couldn't believe it - she just started crying. It's such a relief," she said.

Initially Mrs Nel's medical insurance paid for her treatment, but that stopped.

She has been cared for by the NHS for the past six years.

Mrs Nel's son-in-law, Derek Taylor, said: "We are very grateful as a family that the British people stood by us to the end and that the government allowed their compassion, in allowing us to look after our mother in her time of need."

He said once all the legal costs had been settled, money from the fundraising campaign would be donated to the Bristol dialysis clinic where his mother-in-law is being treated.

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