Qld Health denies home quarantine for 6yo boy with cerebral palsy as he recovers from brain surgery
A six-year-old boy with cerebral palsy remains in bureaucratic limbo after being denied the opportunity to recover from life-changing brain surgery at home in Queensland.
The family of Sunshine Coast boy Lenny Silveira is pleading with Queensland Health to let him and father Fabio back into the state after the two were forced into hotel quarantine in Sydney when they arrived back from the United States last week.
7News Sunshine Coast reported that Lenny’s surgery, which could improve his chances of walking, was not available in Australia.
Limited flights from the US to Brisbane also meant they had to re-enter the country via NSW, with the pair having had several flights cancelled in the three weeks before they managed to take off.
But upon arriving in Sydney, Lenny and Fabio were forced into hotel quarantine, despite Mr Silveira pleading for his son to be able to recover at home in Bokarina with his mother, two siblings and a familiar home medical set up, as per his doctor’s recommendation.
Mr Silveira said Queensland Health had knocked back several requests for home quarantine even as the state government this week launched a new home quarantine trial. Other media was reporting that NSW was understood to be awaiting word from Queensland that they will take the pair into the system once released.
For now, Mr Silveira – who is fully vaccinated – told the Today show he and Lenny remained stuck between two health systems.
“We got caught in the middle of the NSW (and) Queensland health departments, that have an extremely difficult time talking to each other, leaving Lenny caught in the middle,” he said on Wednesday.
“I understand the seriousness of this situation, the Covid pandemic and the consequences of any exemption given, but we are talking about a six-year-old boy who needs extremely intensive rehabilitation.”
Queensland currently requires a border pass application for re-entry, which is processed by police, on top of any special exemption requests.
Queensland Health has been contacted for comment.
Lenny’s plight has drawn a furious response from Australians, including Today host Karl Stefanovic, who said the situation was disgusting.
“Just have a look at that child there with cerebral palsy, in a hotel quarantine,” he said on Wednesday morning.
“That is disgusting. I mean, if we can’t make allowances for that kind of thing in this country, I don’t know what has happened to this country.
“The Queensland Government needs to look at that and fix it straight away.”
ANU infectious diseases and respiratory medicine expert Dr Nick Coatsworth was also scathing.
“When our policies over reach, it is incumbent on policy makers and public health leaders to show flexibility and compassion, and if that is not possible, then readjust the policy,” he wrote online.
“These stories really should not belong in 2021.”
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