Nigerian dies of leukaemia after UK Home Office denies donor visa

The delay in getting her sister Martha Williams a visa may have contributed to May Brown’s death

A Nigerian woman whose sister was refused entry to the United Kingdom to give her a stem cell transplant has died on Tuesday from leukaemia.

May Brown, 24, who had a three-year-old daughter, Selina, hit the headlines last year after pleading with the Home Office to allow her sister into the UK.

According to the family, the Home Office said it was “not satisfied” that her sister Martha, from Nigeria, would be a genuine visitor or had the funds to cover the costs of the trip.

But that decision was overturned following a campaign and the stem cell transplant was performed at King’s College Hospital in London in January this year.

The transplant appeared to have been successful, but Mrs Brown relapsed in April.

She and her family were told by her consultants last week there was nothing more that doctors could do for her.

May Brown and her three-year old daughter Selina

Mrs Brown died with loved ones including her husband, Mike, by her side last Friday at King’s College Hospital.

Her husband said in a statement: “May will forever be remembered in our hearts. She was a strong, beautiful, supportive, wonderful wife and mother. Selina and I will truly miss her.

“May was incredibly grateful to the support given to her from ACLT (African Caribbean Leukaemia Trust), and I echo those words on behalf of me and our daughter Selina.

“May will forever remain in our hearts.”

Mike Brown has described his wife as strong, beautiful, supportive, wonderful wife and mother

“We’re incredibly sorry to learn that May Brown has passed away: our thoughts are with her loved ones.

Beverley De-Gale, co-founder of ACLT, said: “In the 18 months I’ve known her, I can say May was a remarkable woman who fought hard to beat this terrible illness.

“Every member of the ACLT team is extremely saddened by her passing.

“Our thoughts are with her husband Mike, three-year-old daughter Selina and May’s sister Martha.”

As a result of the #SaveMayBrown campaign, thousands more people were added to the stem cell register in the UK and Nigeria.

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