"I have never welcomed the weakening of family ties by politics or pressure" - Nelson Mandela.
"He who travels for love finds a thousand miles no longer than one" - Japanese proverb.
"Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence." - Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
"When people's love is divided by law, it is the law that needs to change". -
David Cameron.

Saturday 12 October 2013


Angela is a British citizen who met her South African husband in Scotland in 1999. They have been married for 13 years, spending almost all the time in South Africa. They had a wonderful life there and were very happy, with a stable business and two beautiful children.

In 2008, their life changed with Angela discovered she was pregnant with their third child. Although delighted, the family was also a little scared given Angela’s history of miscarriages. It was a difficult pregnancy, tackling work and two other children and advised to take bed rest.

Angela was given cortisone injections to strengthen the baby’s lungs and a stent inserted when Angela experienced kidney problems. She was determined to carry the baby to as close to full-term as possible but lost the battle with the doctor at 34 weeks and had a Caesarian. She is grateful every day that she did so, as at 28 weeks the baby had actually stopped feeding and growing.

July 2009 saw their baby born, weighing 1.6 kg. The baby was very ill and kept in ICU, with two holes in her heart and a stomach infection. However even when the family was told the baby had Down’s Syndrome, to Angela her baby was the most beautiful miracle she had ever seen.

Against all odds, the baby pulled through and nine weeks, one day later the family took her home. The first couple of years were bittersweet, and a mixture of joy and worry. The family had been warned the baby’s life expectancy was a maximum of two years. The baby proved the medics wrong.

It was at this time that Angela decided she wanted to return home to the UK. Her sister, who had moved over to South Africa to be with them, had to go back too and she felt that her kids would benefit from a life in the UK and the freedom and feeling of safety.

However, as they began to make plans and arrange the documentation to facilitate coming home, more health problems arose, with the baby diagnosed with Primary Pulmonary Hypertension. One of her heart chambers had grown to three times its size because it struggled to pump blood. The family cancelled their UK plans as the baby would not have survived the flight.

The family almost overnight moved house, to live at sea level to allow for more easier breathing for the baby. This fighter baby astounded doctors once again with her pulmonary pressure levels coming down from 89 to 35 over a two-year period.

Angela’s family has spent four years keeping the baby alive. Now they are in a position to once again think about their original plans to return to the UK, where it would also be better for the development of all three of her children. Schools in the area Angela lives in, in South Africa, have refused to admit her youngest child, citing lack of manpower and skills.

As Angela gave up her business to care for her daughter, using a substantial part of her savings for medical costs, she is unable to satisfy the financial requirements of the post July 2012 immigration rules. Although not poor, they don’t have much money. However when UK slammed its door shut Angela realised EU had left its open.

Though not poor they don’t have much money. Moving to Ireland just to one day be able to move to the UK involves upheaval and expense not once but twice. However at their family meeting the decision was unanimous and the family made the move to Ireland. They sold everything they had in South Africa, cashing in their pensions to fund the trip and three months later settled in Ireland.

They are not sure when they will return to the UK, taking each day as it comes.


  1. I truly hate that wicked witch Theresa May for doing this to real hard-working, sincere and struggling families..... I really have no idea how she sleeps at night. I hope it works out for them. xx

  2. We stand together, we fight together, we win together, or we fall trying together.