Joy for Boston leukaemia sufferer as sister is allowed to come to UK to give her life-saving transplant

Joy at last for May Brown as her sister can fly to the UK.
Joy at last for May Brown as her sister can fly to the UK.

The Home Office has bowed to public pressure and will allow a woman entry to the UK from Nigeria to save her sister’s life in Boston.

May Brown, 23, was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia last year and needs a blood stem cell donation from someone with a matching tissue type to stay alive.

May screamed and cried tears of joy when we spoke yesterday. It was so emotional to see. She just can’t stop smiling!

Petition organiser Ronke Oke

Her sister, Martha who lives in Nigeria, is a rare 10 out of 10 stem cell match but until now the Home Office has refused a visa for Martha to travel to the UK.

More than 60,000 people signed a petition to call for the mercy mission to be allowed.

May said: “I am overjoyed for the U-turn the Home Office has taken regarding my sister Martha’s visa application. I would like to thank every single person who signed the petition! Your support is what has kept me positive. I would also like to thank the ACLT (African Caribbean Leukaemia Trust).

“I will forever be grateful for the love and support they have shown my family and me.”

Immigration Minister Robert Goodwill said: “I have carefully considered the case of May Brown and decided that her sister will be granted leave to enter the UK given the compassionate and exceptional circumstances.”

The petition was organised by Ronke Oke, of the ACLT, who yesterday (Friday) said: “On behalf of May Brown and ACLT, I would like to thank each of the 60,924 (wow!) who signed the petition. If you shared the story too, a double thank you! It’s amazing what was achieved in just under a week!

“May screamed and cried tears of joy when we spoke yesterday. It was so emotional to see. She just can’t stop smiling!

“This result just reconfirms what amazing things can be achieved with focus, passion and a determination to succeed. May still has a long way to go, but for now, we will join her to celebrate this amazing news.

“Whoop! Thank you.”

May’s husband Michael joined in the pleas for people to sign the petition and May herself asked people to sign not for her own sake but for that of her little girl, Selina May, aged two.

• All visa applications are considered on their individual merits, and applicants must provide evidence to show they meet the requirements of the Immigration Rules.

• On October 5, 2016, Adamma Martha Williams was refused a visa to travel to the UK on the basis that she did not meet the requirements of the Immigration Rules.

• In the circumstances Immigration Minister Robert Goodwill reviewed the case and decided a grant of leave should be made outside of the Immigration Rules on compassionate grounds.

• UKVI in Nigeria has been in contact with Ms Williams directly to inform her of the decision.

Previously ...

Petition to get Boston leukaemia sufferer’s sister to UK for transplant sees more than 41,000 signatures