A family are petitioning to allow their disabled son to stay in the UK as flying will pose a serious risk to his safety and health, with his father saying leaving the UK could cause “irreversible damage.”
Gopul Anand lives with multiple disabilities and mental health conditions, including autism, learning disability, epilepsy and schizophrenia, meaning he requires a significant amount of support and around-the-clock care from his family. In 2015, he was sent to an Assessment and Treatment Unit, resulting in his family having to go through a taxing mental health tribunal to have him released; the experience has left him experiencing nightmares and flashbacks to his time at the ATU.
A number of medical professionals, including Gopul’s doctor and social worker, have concluded that allowing him to travel would put his health, safety, and the safety of other passengers at risk. In spite of this, the Home Office has overlooked all medical evidence provided, including significant contributions by his psychiatrist and social worker.
In the petition, Shekhar writes: “I have asked the Home Office to give us discretionary leave to remain because of the severity of his condition but because it is a mental issue they can ignore the medical evidence his doctors sent. If he had a physical condition, my solicitor says he had a better chance for leave to remain on humanitarian grounds.” He adds that the family had planned to return home when their visa ran out, but the decline in Gopul’s health means that they no longer feel it is safe for them to travel.
Autistic UK writes that this is a “grave breach” of his human rights, stating that the situation has deeply affected Gopul’s mental health. They said: “He has stopped attending regular social groups due to the intense stress he feels about his family’s situation and he is now less able to control his impulsive behaviour as his stress increases. Gopul considers the UK his home. It has been his home for the past seven years.”Get your copy of UNITE Magazine