Please grant Pulkit Maniktala's mother Karuna Maniktala a temporary stay visa allowing her to donate her kidney to her son and save his life.
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A NEW LEASE OF LIFE? DENIED…
Pulkit is a 21 year Indian national and an International student studying at University of Warwick. He is now entering third year of his Degree program. Pulkit is diagnosed with end-stage renal failure. There are two ways to treat this. He could either stay on long term renal dialysis or get a kidney transplant. In due course, renal dialysis further has its own consequences and side-effects. At present he is on haemodialysis and requires it on day-to-day basis. The hospital treating him, University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire, are preparing him for kidney transplant. They are already in the process of disabling his “own” kidneys so that a new one can be given to him. The transplant has been scheduled for October 2014.
Pulkit’s mother, who initially accompanied him as his ‘Carer’ was obviously devastated on being informed that her son had renal failure. When she was told by her son’s consultants that family members could donate their kidney to the patient, she offered to be a Donor for her son. After successfully undergoing a battery of medical tests she was declared a “Suitable Donor” for her son.
Through the good offices of Coventry Law Centre, Coventry, Pulkit’s mother applied for Temporary Residency Visa, so that kidney transplant as well as post–operative medical attention for Donor and Recipient can be taken care of.
Unfortunately, the request for this visa has been declined solely on the premise that “treatment is available in India”.
The fact that Pulkit is an International Student studying at Warwick and with entitlement to NHS benefits has been totally ignored. With such acute medical condition, Pulkit cannot be expected to continue his studies at his University here in UK, while, undergoing treatment in India. This is a matter of life and death for Pulkit. Either he can continue his treatment, foregoing his studies and in the long run his career or he could continue his studies and suffer the consequences of deteriorating health.
It is correct that treatment is available in India, but the practicality of availing such treatment in India while, at the same, pursuing studies in the UK needs to be appreciated and taken into account.
Pulkit’s treatment has reached a dead end, as the order’s effect has severe implications towards his impending transplant.
The Order states that such visa (temporary residency) are granted “in ‘exceptional’, ‘compelling’, or ‘compassionate’ cases”. It also states that “having taken all the ‘compassionate’ aspects of your application, we find that they do not entitle you to remain in the UK. Hence, the application is denied.”
The transplant is in public interest, because it is a fact that the cost of a single transplant is considerably less than long term haemodialysis. Though Pulkit is already on the waiting list, there is no guarantee that he will find a donor at any time “in near future”. Meanwhile, he continues to suffer with a life threatening ailment. Pulkit’s mother is trying to reduce the burden on NHS by taking the bold step of donating her own kidney, so that the organ from the list can be used to save someone else’s life.
If these facts in themselves are not “exceptional”, “compelling”, and “compassionate”, then one wonders what are.
The application has been declined as if the applicant (Pulkit’s mother), is only a ‘Carer’ and Not a kidney Donor; as if Pulkit is here only for treatment and not pursuing higher studies.
A young boy of 21 years is putting-up a brave fight under extremely adverse circumstance of renal failure threatening his life all the while still coping-up with higher studies at International level. He should be encouraged rather than scuttling his promising future by disrupting his studies mid-way and requiring him to go back and undertake treatment in India.
The choice is hard - ‘treatment’ or ‘studies’.
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