About a month ago, we reported on a story about an Irish family that is facing deportation from Australia. The family includes Anthony and Christine Hyde along with their three year old son Darragh, who was born with Australia. Darragh has cystic fibrosis.
Because of the expensive treatment that Darragh requires, the family has been dubbed “a burden to the taxpayer” and is therefore set to be deported, despite the fact that they have lived there for years. It’s also the only home that Darragh has ever known.
About Cystic Fibrosis
Cystic fibrosis is a type of genetic disorder which can have impacts throughout the body, but it is most characterized by the build up of abnormally thick, sticky mucus in the lungs. This mucus becomes a fertile breeding ground and habitat for potentially infectious bacteria. Many patients must take antibiotics for much of their lives. This disorder is caused by mutations of the CFTR gene. Symptoms of cystic fibrosis include progressive decline in lung function, lung and sinus infections, coughing up mucus, fatty stool, poor growth, infertility in males, clubbed digits, and digestive problems. Treatment includes antibiotics and medications or procedures intended to maintain lung function. Lung transplant is an option when lung function declines severely. Life expectancy ranges into the 40s and 50s with good care. To learn more about cystic fibrosis, click here.
Running Out of Time
At this juncture, the family is set to be deported on June 18th unless government officials take action. A petition calling for the family to stay in the country has gained over 115,000 signatures. Christine says that their son is doing “extremely well” on his current treatment regimen.
The ultimate decision will fall into the lap of Minister for Home Affairs Peter Dutton. The Hyde’s have since gained support from Premier Daniel Andrews, who has called for the minister to intervene in a compassionate manner. The Hyde family is counting on the attention gained by their story and their petition to help them get a favorable response from Minister Dutton. For now, there isn’t much else they can do but wait for a decision, but time is running out. Read more about this story here.