A father with terminal cancer will be able to see his four children before he dies after Australians donated more than $210,000 for their hotel quarantine bill.
The 39-year-old’s children are in Sydney and it is his final wish to see them before he dies.
His family’s desperation has prompted a wave of donations to a GoFundMe page set up to support their bid to get across the NSW-Queensland border.
Mark Keans – who has terminal cancer – is pictured with his children (L-R) Noah 13, Caitlyn 11, Caleb 11, and Isaac, 7. His family have been quoted $16,000 in quarantine fees to travel to Queensland to say goodbye to him
More than $215,000 was raised by Friday morning, despite organisers setting a fundraising goal of just $30,000.
‘Marks family, including his four young children are desperate to see him and say goodbye,’ the page reads.
The fundraiser explains it was created to help Mr Keans’ family cover the cost of hotel quarantine, travel, treatment and the funeral.
‘If you could please spare anything you can to help support this family in need,’ the page reads.
‘We also ask that you please speak up and express your upset at the cruel actions of the QLD government and QLD health authorities.
‘Lets get these kids across the border and back into their father’s arms before it’s too late.’
Prime Minister Scott Morrison appeared to chip in, donating $1,000 to the fundraising page.
Mr Keans was diagnosed a month ago with an inoperable cancer and is not expected to live until Christmas. Earlier, his family were told only one of his children would be given permission to cross into Queensland to see him in his final moments
Health authorities had earlier said only one of Mr Keans’ four Sydney-based children – all of whom are under the age of 13 – could cross the border to see him one last time.
Queensland Health did not at first respond to multiple requests for an exemption from the truck driver’s family, but have now told them they can drive into the state and pay for two weeks quarantine in a Brisbane hotel.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison appeared to donate $1,000 (pictured)
The state’s standard quarantine fees are $4,620 for two adults and two children.
Costs will also include taxi transfer to visit the father at his home – where his family will be escorted by government staff and have to wear full personal protective equipment.
‘My wife told the Queensland Health person ‘this is ridiculous – its going to cost more to quarantine than it will to bury my son’,’ Mr Keans’ father Bruce Langborne told Daily Mail Australia.
‘At least they spoke to us but we didn’t get anywhere – this is only a suggestion as well and nothing has been confirmed yet.’
Mr Langborne said his local member of parliament had been far more supportive of their situation – even offering to fly his son to New South Wales by air ambulance so he could be with his family.
‘We understand and sympathise that this is a very difficult time and there are challenges,’ a Queensland Health spokeswoman said.
‘We are in the midst of a global pandemic and we need to protect our communities, especially the most vulnerable members of the community.
‘We understand the health directions in place are strict, but they are designed to protect Queenslanders from COVID-19.’
More than $215,000 was raised by Friday morning, despite organisers setting a fundraising goal of just $30,000. Pictured: Mr Keans and his children
The fundraiser comes after Queensland health officials refused to allow Canberra woman Sarah Caisip, 26, out of hotel quarantine to attend her father’s funeral in Brisbane.
Annastacia Palaszczuk’s government would only allow the nursing graduate to see her father’s body in private after Mr Morrison called the under-fire premier to ask her to make an exception in the young woman’s case.
Taking to the floor of Queensland’s state parliament later in the day, Ms Palaszczuk then sensationally accused Mr Morrison of bullying and intimidating her.
Mr Morrison said late on Thursday evening he had raised more than 40 different compassionate grounds exemptions with the Queensland government.
One case highlighted by federal authorities involved a mother and father who failed to get an application to enter Queensland resolved in time to be with their son before his life support machine was switched off after a series of strokes.
Source: Daily Mail AU