Australian couple stuck in Texas for over a year due to pandemic desperate to go home: ‘I’m slowly dying’ – Fresno, California

Fresno, California 2021-05-01 08:33:40 –

From Houston, Texas-An Australian man and his wife said they were desperate to return to Melbourne after the flight was canceled over a year ago.

“This is where we stay. It’s easy for Andre. Everything is compact and he can hold a lot. This is where we are staying,” Melissa Ribenel said. I said when I walked around the RV in my backyard. ..

The couple have lived an hour outside Beaumont in eastern Texas after a three-month visit scheduled for December 2019.

They were scheduled to depart in March 2020, but the flight to Melbourne was cancelled.

See: A Houston couple stuck in Mexico after a positive COVID-19 test

A month later, Andre’s support for persons with disabilities was discontinued.

He says the Australian government told him he had been going for too long.

“I paid taxes in Australia,” Andre said. “I voted for these people, but they still treat me this way.”

When the pandemic broke out, Australia closed its borders to everyone, including its own citizens.

See also: A couple left behind in the Maldives on their honeymoon

It was a tightly restricted weekly cap when they began allowing people to accept again.

Only 20-40 people may be admitted to the flight, which will increase the price of the ticket on the roof.

Business class airfares have jumped to over $ 10,000 per ticket. This is the level of service Andre needs for his medical condition.

What Rivenel could barely afford at the beginning of the pandemic is now out of the question.

There is an increasing urgency to return to Australia after Andre suffered a stroke in December 2020.

During hospitalization, the doctor diagnosed him with a suspected ALS illness.

“I need to go home. I’m dying slowly,” Andre said frankly.

His health has declined rapidly since the stroke. Today he cannot walk, eat or bathe alone.

Melissa quit her part-time job to become a full-time caregiver. “He can’t even go to the bathroom alone now,” she said.

All of this evolved as they waited months to get home.

They have registered with the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and have joined the list of about 40,000 Australians awaiting their return.

They put together documents and a doctor’s letter to prove Andre’s medical case, but they were denied emergency government loans twice and are now silent.

Andre says he feels like a forgotten citizen. And now he fears that he may soon lose the ability to travel.

“God forbids me to die here, I don’t want to do it because I want to see my son,” he said.

Andre’s 19-year-old son works as an advocate for his father in Australia.

Organization called Free and open Australia I work on behalf of thousands of people who are still waiting to get home.

They filed a legal challenge with the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, stating that Australia violated Article 12.4 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

The group claims that Australia is arbitrarily blocking people from returning home.

Andre and his wife have no income, no health insurance, and increasing medical problems. GoFundMe A page to help raise around A $ 50,000 for two Business Class tickets to Melbourne.

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Australian couple stuck in Texas for over a year due to pandemic desperate to go home: ‘I’m slowly dying’ Source link Australian couple stuck in Texas for over a year due to pandemic desperate to go home: ‘I’m slowly dying’

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