Leukaemia transplant for Nigerian blocked after denial of UK visa

Leukaemia is a malignant progressive disease in which the bone marrow and other blood-forming organs produce increased numbers of immature or abnormal leucocytes. These suppress the production of normal blood cells, leading to anaemia and other symptoms.

Doctors attending to May Brown, 23,of Weymouth in Dorset, England, at the King’s College Hospital in London have told her that her sister Martha is a “10 out of 10” tissue match.

The United Kingdom is preventing a Nigerian woman from going to the aid of her England-based sister now battling leukaemia.

But Martha, a school teacher in Nigeria, has been refused permission to enter the UK to donate bone marrow required by her distraught sister.

A charity, African Caribbean Leukaemia Trust (ACLT) said Martha had been refused a visa because her income was too low.

The Home Office said immigration rules were applied to all visa applications.

The charity said Mrs. Brown had offered to cover all of her sister’s costs.

It has set up an online petition, signed by more than 2,000 people, to reverse the visa decision.

The Home Office said it could not comment on individual cases.

Mrs. Brown’s doctors told her that her only chance of survival is an urgent stem cell transplant.

Medical tests identified Martha as a perfect match, the ACLT said, but she was refused a visa because her teacher’s salary of £222 per month was too low.

A spokesman added: “We are sensitive to cases with compassionate circumstances but all visa applications must be assessed against the immigration rules.

“The onus is on the individual to provide the necessary supporting evidence to prove they meet the requirements.”

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