A dying dad in a hospital bed has been told due to the strict coronavirus border rules, only one of his four children will be able to say their final goodbyes.
Mark Queens, from New South Wales, has been told that he is unlikely to make it to Christmas as he has stage 4 terminal brain and lung cancer, having only been diagnosed a month ago.
Yet the 39-year-old’s family has been left outraged after Queensland officials have informed them that only one of his four children will be able to cross the border into east Australia, as the hospital is concerned for the welfare of other cancer patients, reported 9News.
The truck driver’s family has questioned why there need to be such state border restrictions in place.
Mark’s father, Bruce Langborne, told 9News: “Just let us see our son, that’s all we ask. We just want to see him.
“I’ve got no idea how we can work out to pick one [child].”
Queensland state Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk’s administration has ruled that out of Mark’s four children, only one will be allowed to see him, despite the family pleading to be exempt.
The child that is chosen for the visit will be given one supervised hour to see their father and then they will have to return across the border. All of Mark’s children are under 13 years of age.
Tam Langborne, Mark’s sister, told Daily Mail Australia that the family have struggled with this almost impossible decision of which child should be chosen to see their dad in his last moments.
She said: “The youngest of the children is only seven-years-old. I think sending him by himself to see his dad for an hour would do a lot more damage than good.”
“I understand the reasons behind the border closure but what hurts the most is actors and sporting teams get a free ride to go into Queensland because they have a name.
“All we want to do is sit with our brother and say thanks for a good life and for the kids to see him for the last time.”
To solve this issue, the family was given the option of quarantining in Queensland for two weeks, but to afford to pay for a hotel for 11 people for a fortnight was not possible.
When the family considered this option, they realised that for just one adult it would cost $2,800.
Despite the risks preventing the family from travelling over, Ms Palaszczuk has allowed the 400 Australian Football League officials to enter her state for the Grand Final. Meanwhile, Tom Hanks wasn’t forced into entering hotel quarantine after flying in from America. According to the Premiere, the movie industry’s COVID-19 plan means he can be exempt.
When Ms Palaszczuk was questioned about the family’s case in parliament, she pointed out that she herself was unable to see a sick relative due to the closed border.
She said: “My uncle was recently diagnosed with lung cancer and I couldn’t go and visit him in the hospital.”
After hearing this comment, New South Wales Health Minister Brad Hazzard slammed Ms Palaszczuk.
Mr Hazzard said: “I can only express my anger, my supreme anger, at the Queensland Premier’s decision, which in my view is nothing more base loopy politics. I’m appalled.”
The opposition has begged for Ms Palaszczuk to show some “compassion”.