Ghanaian denied UK visa to save sister's life

A woman with a rare blood cancer is being denied a life-saving transplant from her brother because he doesn't earn enough, a charity has said

Shirley Kordie, 33, has hypoplastic MDS and will leave her son, Blessing, four, without a mother if she is not treated

Her brother Joseph, who lives in Ghana, is a "perfect" stem cell match but his visa application was denied due to his "financial circumstances"

The Home Office has been asked to comment

Ms Kordie said: "My life is in danger - I need to get my life back for my son

"I have my little boy, and I want to live for him "

The Anthony Nolan Trust and the African Caribbean Leukaemia Trust (ACLT) have launched a campaign to support Ms Kordie, who has been receiving treatment at Birmingham's Queen Elizabeth Hospital

The Anthony Nolan Trust said the reason Joseph has been refused a visa is because "he doesn't earn enough money"

- 10 out of 10 match -

A petition urging the government to reverse its decision has amassed about 10,000 signatures in 36 hours

Joseph, a nurse himself, is unable to make the donation in Ghana, so coming to the UK is his only option, said the Anthony Nolan Trust

Spokeswoman Amelia Chong said there were no alternative options for a donor on the international stem cell register

"Her brother is a perfect, 10 out of 10 match for her," she said

"We have reviewed all those on the donor list and he is not only the perfect match, he is the only match "

"Put simply, Shirley will die without this stem cell transplant "

Ms Chong added: "Her brother is ready to donate, the doctors are ready to carry out the procedure, everyone is ready but the Home Office

"All Joseph needs is a temporary visa to undergo the procedure "

In a letter to Shirley, the Home Office said: "While I am aware of the importance of family contact and the compassionate nature of your application, I must, however, also consider your personal and financial circumstances in Ghana when addressing your application "

Shirley is currently at her home in Walsall, West Midlands, receiving regular blood transfusions

Orin Lewis, chief executive of the ACLT, said: "The stark reality is Shirley has no other option

"The search for an unrelated donor is made difficult due to her African heritage, which means she is three times less likely to find a perfect match


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