PM’s move to get brain cancer patient out of hotel
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has taken up the plight of a man dying with brain cancer who has been forced to recover from major surgery holed up in quarantine in a Brisbane hotel.
Logan's Gary Ralph was rushed to Sydney for lifesaving brain surgery with eminent surgeon Dr Charlie Teo last week.
But on his return to Queensland on Tuesday, the 71-year-old and wife Wendy Child were forced into quarantine lockdown in a Brisbane hotel, where he has since suffered what is believed to be a series of seizures.
The state Health Department also told the family if Mr Ralph were given approval to quarantine at home, he would have to catch a taxi or Uber to his chemotherapy appointments and could not use the family car because of strict COVID rules.
But on Thursday, after Ms Child fired off a missive to Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk begging for leniency, Forde MP Bert van Manen sent a request to the Prime Minister asking him to liaise with the state government.
The Prime Minister's Office contacted the state government about the case today.
It is the second Queensland case the Prime Minister has intervened in, after Sarah Caisip was barred from going to her father Bernard's funeral in September because she had been in Canberra and needed to spend 14 days in quarantine.
"Sadly, the couple's pleas have fallen on deaf ears with the Queensland Government and the Premier is unwilling to make exceptions or soften the state stance in this case," Mr van Manen said.
"I urge the Premier to consider the impact this situation is having on the couple's mental health and emotional state.
"All we want is for her to show some compassion and care and allow them to quarantine at home."
Ms Child said the couple was desperate to get permission to home quarantine as Mr Ralph urgently needed to begin radiation and chemotherapy.
Dr Teo also wrote to the state government stating it was in Mr Ralph's best health interest for him to quarantine at home.
She said the most distressing issue for the couple was not being treated equally.
"It's not being forced to catch a 'ride' to treatment," she said.
"We are just asking for the same privileges the Broncos and movie stars have been given and that is home quarantine where Gary will be in the comfort of our home.
"He will be able to rest and sleep in his own bed, have nutritious meals cooked for him, be taken to his appointments by me only.
"At home he can sit on our back deck and feel the sun on his face … you know the basics that every human in Australia, until just recently, had the right to expect.
"It is the best way for him to recover from the major surgery he has already undergone and keep him in the best of health physically and mentally for the gruelling radiation and chemotherapy to come."
In the space of 24 hours, more than 13,800 people had signed a petition started on Wednesday by Mr Ralph's granddaughter Jessica Ralph.
Logan-based Windaroo Lakes Golf Club, where the couple plays, also pushed their return home.
Originally published as PM's move to get brain cancer patient out of hotel