Almost 95,000 people have signed a petition started by a Bristol family calling on the Government to allow their ill South African relative to remain in the UK, where she needs dialysis treatment three times a week.
Irene Nel, whose six children and eight grandchildren are all British citizens, is caught up in a UK visa row with the Home Office which wants to deport her.
The petition, started by her son-in-law Derek Taylor, is calling on the Government to show compassion for Mrs Nel, who is 73.
He wrote: “The Home Office has said she is not entitled by law to remain in the UK and is to return back to South Africa with immediate effect where she will die, as there is not dialysis treatment for her due to the South African Government not giving treatment to people over the age of 65, along with her heart condition.”
The family has appealed through the courts against the Home Office’s decision and said that the judge concluded that the Government could allow Mrs Nel to remain in the UK on compassionate grounds.
They also have the support of her family doctor, who believes that a long haul flight would cause “a very significant risk” to Mrs Nel’s health. He is also worried about the stress the ongoing threat of deportation is having on her health.
Mr Taylor said: “We believe that subjecting her to a long haul flight against medical advice would be in breach of her human rights. We are calling on the Home Office to grant her leave to remain in the UK so we can look after her here and so she can live out her remaining time with us.”