AN INDIAN woman who was threatened with deportation while in a coma still fears for her future despite the Home Office granting her a 12-month visa.
Bhavani Esapathi, who suffers from a complex form of Crohn’s disease, was in a coma following a surgery in September when she received a letter stating her application for leave to remain had been refused.
Her fiance, Martin Mangler, appealed against the decision stating her life would be at risk if she were to travel.
Following this, the Home Office wrote to Esapathi saying it “has been decided to grant you a period of leave outside the rules on an exceptional basis.”
Although she has been granted leave to remain, Esapathi said she feared for her future.
“Because it’s an incurable disease, I will need my medication indefinitely and it’s currently unavailable in India. They haven’t considered this. They’ve said – yes you can have your surgery, but we don’t take any responsibility for you living after that,” she said, according to the Independent.
“It feels like they’re just trying to make us stop making noise. If their objective is to maintain this hostile environment and not let us be in peace then they’ve achieved it, because we can’t relax yet. It just shows that the Home Office aren’t capable – or simply don’t want to understand – how chronic diseases work. It’s not just about the surgery, it’s about me having lived here more than 10 years.”
Esapathi came to the UK on a study visa in 2010 and worked in the arts industry before she fell ill.
Esapathi’s surgeons at St Mark’s Hospital has stated that her “surgical and medical management is highly complex” and that she would need ongoing specialist care at their hospital.
Campaigners, meanwhile, have urged the Home Office to grant Esapathi the right to remain, and an online petition with the hashtag #letbhavanilive has garnered more than 170,000 signatures.