Covid-19 Delta outbreak: Grieving fathers heartbreak as sister unable to attend funeral

A grieving father is not only hurting for the loss of his six-year-old son but heartbroken after unsuccessfully trying to bring his Blenheim-based sister to the Auckland funeral.

William Stuart lost his battle with leukaemia last after six years of treatment, including Car-T cell therapy in Melbourne two years ago.

After years of stress and a determined fundraising effort, in January last year they were excited to announce on their Givealittle page that it had worked.

“We are delighted to share that the Car-T cell therapy has been successful and we are now home with all his medical attachments out.”

But 21 months later, William succumbed to his cancer and died last week.

While the fight to save William had come to an end, they had since been embroiled in a new fight – to get William’s aunty, Nicole Seymour, to Auckland to attend his funeral.

She has had her travel exemption application declined twice by the Ministry of Health as the online form only allowed for immediate family to get through.

William’s father, Marcus, told Mike Hosking that it had been “ridiculous” dealing with the Ministry of Health’s online forms getting exemptions for family to attend his funeral.

Keen to get Seymour there, and despite trying and being denied twice, there was nowhere on the Ministry’s online form where people could click for extended family.

As for what he will do today, Marcus said “cry”.

Everyone was vaccinated and had negative Covid tests.

They’d all been following the rules and William had been sick for six years so they were keen to make sure they were doing things right.

He was gutted that the form wasn’t set up for a child dying or a child being sick, he said.

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