Jamaican grandmother of Damary Dawkins denied visa to attend his funeral
- Credit: ACLT
The grandmother of a teenager who lost his battle with cancer is being denied the chance to attend his funeral.
Damary Dawkins, from Dagenham, died last month after a long with leukaemia.
His grandmother Ivy Powell, 67, lives in Jamaica and had wanted to fly over to attend the 13-year-old’s funeral next Friday.
But her daughter Nadine said that was now in jeopardy after the Home Office refused the visa application.
“The application was made on April 4, and we found out on the 16th that it had been denied,” she said.
“They said she doesn’t have the savings to support herself.
“She’s retired, she doesn’t need to have savings.
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“We were going to support her, give her somewhere to stay.”
Nadine said she and her husband Tony, who both work, had sent a range of documents to the Home Office to prove they could financially support Ivy during her stay.
“She’s coming to say goodbye to her grandson for the last time,” Nadine said.
“They didn’t take into account the reason for her application.”
Nadine said that the family were unable to appeal the decision and would have to submit a fresh application - but the chances of a decision being made in time for the funeral were slim.
The Home Office has not responded to a request for comment.
Sydney Russell School pupil Damary had been diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in 2014 and, after undergoing chemotherapy, was told he needed a transplant.
However none of his family were a match so campaign #match4damary was launched by charity African Caribbean Leukaemia Trust (ACLT) to find a stem cell donor.
Sadly despite a match being found in the US and Damary undergoing the transplant he passed away six weeks after his 13th birthday.
The young footballer’s plight hit the headlines after Manchester City star Raheem Sterling tweeted about it and visited Damary - part of the Crystal Palace elite development squad - in Great Ormond Street Hospital.
The England star paid a touching tribute to Damary after his death, lifting up his shirt to reveal a picture of the schoolboy after scoring his second goal during a 5-0 win over the Czech Republic last month.