Sri Lankan asylum-seeker family trapped on Christmas Island as youngest girl is evacuated to hospital
New pain for Sri Lankan asylum seekers family stuck in Christmas Island detention as daughter of three is evacuated to Perth hospital with a blood infection after 10 days of agony
- Youngest daughter of asylum seekers family evacuated to hospital in Perthth
- Three-year-old Tharnicaa is being held with her family on Christmas Island
- She developed a suspected blood infection and has been ‘in agony’ for 10 days
The youngest daughter of the Biloela family detained on Christmas Island has been medically evacuated to Perth with a suspected blood infection.
A flight carrying three-year-old Tharnicaa and her mother Priya landed at Perth airport Monday night, family supporters confirmed.
They said Tharnicaa had been unwell for 10 days and possibly had blood poisoning.
Tharnicaa Murugappan, (pictured in bed) the youngest daughter of the Biloela family held on Christmas Island, has been medically evacuated to Perth with a suspected blood infection
Nadesalingam Murugappan, his wife Priya and their Australian-born children Kopika, five, and Tharunicaa, three (pictured together) are Tamil asylum seekers currently being detained on Christmas Island
“I am very scared and worried about my little girl,” Priya said in a statement from the family.
‘She has been sick for many days, it took a long time to get to the hospital.
“She is already asking for her daddy, it will be very hard to be away from her father and sister. It’s very hard for our family to break up when our daughter is sick.”
Proponents said Tharnicaa had suffered from vomiting, diarrhea, dizziness and a temperature of more than 40 degrees.
They said staff at the Tharnicaa detention center did not take her to the hospital on Christmas Island until Sunday, despite multiple requests from her mother.
Priya, Nades and their two Australian-born daughters, Tharnicaa and six-year-old Kopika, have been detained on Christmas Island since August 2019 as the government tries to deport them to Sri Lanka, despite a community campaign to get them to stay.
Kopika (right) and Tharunicaa (left), were born in Australia but are being held in immigration detention
The family is trapped on Christmas Island. Pictured: An island detention center
Tharnicaa (photo) had been unwell for 10 days and may have blood poisoning
They were taken from their home in the rural Queensland town of Biloela and placed in immigration detention in 2018.
The federal government has spent more than $6 million in the last three years to keep the family in custody.
Family attorney Carina Ford said Tharnicaa’s condition had deteriorated significantly over the weekend.
She said the family had received medical reports indicating that the two girls suffered from both physical and mental health problems.
“I think their daily lives are getting harder and harder, and there’s no doubt there’s a greater impact on the kids,” she told ABC News.
Lawyers also said guards were stationed outside Tharnicaa’s hospital room on Christmas Island and had prevented a family friend from visiting the girl.
Priya and Nades met in Sydney before getting married and settling in Biloela, Queensland, where they had two children
The family is not allowed to visit friends on the island and must be allowed to go to a playground where they are accompanied by guards
In response, the Home Office said both the Department and the Australian Border Force are committed to the well-being of detainees in immigration detention.
“Health care for detainees on Christmas Island is broadly comparable to that within the Australian community under the Australian public health system,” a department spokesman said in a statement.
‘The ABF facilitates access to nurses, doctors and specialists for all family members.’
Labor Senator Kristina Keneally expressed concern about Tharnicaa and her family.
“A medical emergency and separation from the family is the last thing they need,” she said.
“This family should not be in detention. They should be in their community in Biloela.”
Greens Senator Nick McKim said the family’s treatment was “appalling and disgraceful.”
“They urgently need to be resettled in our community before more damage is done,” he said.
Home Secretary (pictured) told family to go back to Sri Lanka – where they fear persecution