Norfolk

Great Yarmouth man raises money to send grandsons to US

Kallum, Jack and Joanne Lynch Image copyright Lynch Family
Image caption Joanne Lynch, pictured with sons Kallum (left) and Jack before her death last year from an aggressive form of cancer

A grandfather who needs £25,000 to send his orphaned grandsons to live with an aunt in the United States has raised nearly £20,000 in one week.

Patrick Lynch, 64, has been the sole carer of Kallum, nine, and seven-year-old Jack in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, since their mother Joanne died from cancer last year.

His other daughter, Sam, is prepared to adopt them in Los Angeles.

The family said it could not afford the costs of the adoption process.

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Image copyright PA/Lynch Family
Image caption Patrick Lynch lost daughter Leanne to cancer in 1986 when she was four-years-old

Mr Lynch, who has had heart surgery and two strokes, said he was unlikely to be able to "cope much longer".

'Torn apart'

The money is being raised via a Crowdfunder appeal and other fundraising activities co-ordinated by the boys' school, Edward Worlledge Primary.

He said: "I've experienced more grief than anyone should ever have to go through.

"If we can't raise this money and I die, the boys will have to go into care and then the family could be torn apart."

Image copyright Lynch Family
Image caption Joanne Lynch (left) with her sister Sam, who has agreed to take care of her two nephews following her sister's death

Joanne Lynch, a single mother, died aged 29 from the genetic disorder Li Faumeni Syndrome which led to an aggressive form of cancer.

It had already claimed the lives of her mother, another sister and grandmother. Kallum has also been diagnosed as carrying the gene.

'So many hoops'

Joanne's sister Sam Wells, 37, has lived in California for 10 years with her husband Shaun and three children, aged 15, 13 and 11 months.

"When Joanne knew she had about two weeks to live she asked me to take care of the boys and I said 'absolutely'," said Mrs Wells.

"We've started the process of working with a recognised adoption agency and have to jump through so many hoops - and there's a fee with every hoop."

Mrs Wells said if the application failed she would consider moving back to the UK as a "last resort".

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Media captionBereaved boys' appeal to live with their aunt in USA

The family has already applied for a temporary visa for the boys, which she said cost $10,000 and would allow them to stay for two years - during which time they would be able to enrol in school this summer and the adoption agency could assess the family.

Mrs Wells hoped the adoption process could be completed within four months.

A US Department of State spokesman said it charged $720 for filing the initial immigration application and $325 for a visa application, but any other fees would be charged by the adoption agency and would vary in each case.

He said the US and UK were both signed up to the Hague Convention on inter-country adoption which aimed to prevent illegal trafficking of children.

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