Scots OAP in Australia deportation row ‘fell ill’ after news

Christina Grant fell ill after she was told of the deportation threat. Picture: SWNS
Christina Grant fell ill after she was told of the deportation threat. Picture: SWNS
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A frail pensioner at the centre of a deportation row fell ill after her family told her she would have to move back to Scotland from Australia.

An ambulance was called when Christina Grant’s son Allan and his wife Diane feared she was either having a heart attack or stroke on Tuesday - the day before she had to fly.

But Christina, who suffers from dementia and poor sight, was still set to make the flight which left Sydney at 9.30am BST yesterday (Wed) - 6.30pm in Australia.

The 96-year-old moved from Dulnain Bridge, Strathspey to New South Wales in 2015 to be near family after Allan’s brother Robert, who looked after her, died.

Her visa requires that she leaves Australia once a year, but this has expired, and a South Pacific cruise booked by her family did not qualify.

Christina’s relatives believe a new visa application would be rejected on health grounds even though Australian government officials have intimated they are willing to resolve the situation, stressing that she apply.

Diane Grant said: “I had to call an ambulance to Chrissie after telling her we were taking her home to Scotland.

“She passed out in the chair and we could not bring her round. She dropped over the chair and we thought she was having a heart attack or stroke.”

READ MORE - Widow, 96, can stay in Australia after deportation threat

Diane added that she “seemed OK again” after being sick.

The family are due to arrive at Glasgow Airport on Thursday.

But her son and daughter-in-law are concerned because she has no immediate family to go back to in Scotland.

An Australian family who won a long visa battle to remain in Scotland has offered sympathy and moral support to the Grants.

Gregg and Kathryn Brain and their eight-year-old son Lachlan, from Dingwall, Highlands, are facing more paperwork of their own, as they need to renew their UK visa in the next few months.

The Brains narrowly avoided deportation from the UK last year before the Home Office granted them leave to remain.

Gregg said: “It seems thoughtless bureaucracy is not a uniquely British phenomenon.

“Obviously the Grant family had some contact from the Australian government or they wouldn’t have known there was a problem.

“When you’re sending something to a 96-year-old, I think you’ve got a bit of an obligation to provide a bit of support through the process.

“If that had been done, this wouldn’t have arisen.”