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Joy for Leeds transplant patient after 5-year deportation battle

Roseline Akhalu.

Roseline Akhalu.

A severely ill Leeds woman who feared being ‘deported to die’ has won her five-year battle to stay in the UK.

Widowed transplant patient Roseline Akhalu, 49, was last night told her court appeal bid has been successful.

The Home Office now has seven days to contest the judge’s decision.

Speaking exclusively to the YEP just hours after hearing the news, Mrs Akhalu said: “I was over the moon. I was jumping up and saying ‘thank you, thank you, thank you!’.

“It’s been a long journey.

“Without the help of my wonderful supporters, I would not have got here today. They have supported me wholeheartedly with love and with care.

“The wait has been very hard. I have had sleepless nights and have been in and out of hospital. But I always prayed to God.”

She said she was particularly grateful to her solicitors and leading campaigners Bernard Thurlow, Paul Cordy and Leeds councillor Neil Taggart.

Mrs Akhalu, who lives in Headingley, was diagnosed with acute kidney disease months after arriving in the UK in 2004 to study at Leeds University. She unexpectedly developed end-stage renal failure in 2005 and received a kidney transplant at St James’s Hospital in 2009. Her medics have always said she will die if deported.

Leeds MP Greg Mulholland, who was among those backing Mrs Akhalu’s case, said: “It is fantastic news that a judge has today upheld Roseline’s appeal.

“I hope the Home Office now see sense and do not appeal today’s decision and allow Roseline to remain in the country and continue to have access to the essential drugs she requires, and stop wasting taxpayers’ money seeking deportation in a case that is so obviously wrong.”

Around 1,500 people had signed a petition to stop Mrs Akhalu being deported and actor Colin Firth also backed her. She currently volunteers with various projects in Leeds, and hopes to continue her community work.

 

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