Four year old Katerina* was visiting her aunt in the UK with her mother, when she suddenly collapsed and was rushed to hospital. The rest of her family in Eastern Europe waited anxiously for news and when it came it was not good. She was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, the prognosis for which was poor unless she could receive intensive specialist treatment of a type unavailable in her home country. This young child underwent both surgery and acutely necessary courses of chemotherapy and radiotherapy to prevent the tumour recurrence. At the time her mother came to Danielle Cohen Immigration Solicitors Katerina was a very sick, very vulnerable little girl struggling with nausea and vomiting as a consequence of her treatment. Her mother, who was pregnant with her second child, was doing her best to be strong and supportive for her beloved child but her pain and anxiety were obvious and only increased by the fact of her separation from the rest of her family and the bleak prospects for her daughter’s future if she had to return to her homeland where the potentially life-saving treatment would not be available.
Hearing this difficult story, Danielle Cohen Solicitors agreed to take the case on a pro bono basis and made an application for a grant of further leave to remain for Katerina and her mother. We based the application on the grounds of exceptional compassionate circumstances and the UK’s obligations under Article 8 of the Human Rights Convention and the Children’s Right Convention. We argued that the refusal of leave to remain and any removal decision would be a disproportionate interference with the family and private life rights of this four year old child and her mother and sought a further grant of leave to remain in the UK to enable Katerina to receive life-saving medical treatment.
Thankfully our application was successful and Katerina and her mother have been given discretionary leave to remain here for a further three years so that she can continue with her medical treatment.
*Whilst the stories we use here are all true, the names have been changed to respect and preserve our clients’ confidentiality.