A 56-year-old Canadian citizen has launched a passionate appeal to the country’s immigration officials to grant his 32-year-old Kenyan wife a temporary visa, which will allow her see him “in his last days on earth”, The Star.com reports.
Patrick Kinsella, who has a severe heart condition, says he “suspects September won’t find him alive”.
Two years ago, he successfully underwent a high-risk heart procedure at the St. Mary’s Hospital in Canada, resulting in medical staff members at the facility nicknaming him “the miracle guy”.
After meeting his Kenyan wife, Mary Atieno Otieno, online through his British friend in 2017, he travelled to the East African country in December 2018 after many months of communicating via email.
In September 2019, Kinsella and Atieno got married.
The couple was supposed to start a new life between Canada, Kenya and Ireland, where Kinsella was born and grew up.
The plan, however, faced a glitch after Kinsella suffered another heart attack in January 2020.
A scan in May, 2020 showed his heart function had been greatly compromised as a result.
“I had to pre-arrange my funeral, as no father leaves such to his children,” said Kinsella, a retired youth services manager with the Ontario government.
“Choosing my own casket at the funeral home was a very surreal experience. I recently completed my will and paid off my grave site at St. Agatha cemetery.
“I do not expect to see September. I will go any day. My concern is I will never see my wife and (step) son again,” he told The Star.com.
“Our marriage is based on love, and I love her with all my heart.”
Since 2011, the 56-year-old has had seven heart attacks. He says the condition is genetically inherited.
Kinsella hopes Canada’s immigration officials can grant Mary Atieno Otieno, and his stepson, Ramsey Dickson, 10, temporary residence visas to spend his remaining time with him in Ottawa.
According to Kinsella, the Canadian Government has — on two previous occasions (June and November 2019) — denied Atieno a temporary visa. According to him, the Great White North fears that Atieno would not leave the country upon expiry of her visa.
The 32-year-old Kenyan national in late May 2020 filed yet another temporary visa application upon learning about Kinsella’s latest heart assessment results.
A spokesperson for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada told The Star.com that the department was unable to comment on Kinsella’s and Atieno’s case on Friday, June 5.
Kinsella came to Canada from Ireland in 1988 and retired from the Ontario government after 25 years. In 2014, he began travelling and volunteering for international aid groups before a British friend introduced him to Atieno in Kenya in 2017.
“It was love at first sight in our relationship,” said Kinsella, whose previous marriage ended in 2011. He has two adult daughters from the previous union.
Atieno said Kinsella was open about his heart condition when they met and she had no fears concerning his condition.
“Pat is a great and special man to me. A man with a rare personality. I found a husband in him and a father to my son. He is loving, caring and selfless. His passion for helping the less privileged anywhere in the world says it all,” Atieno told The Star.com.
“Love knows no bounds. Terminally ill people may live longer than expected. I have never allowed any negative thoughts about our future. Prayers work wonders.”
Kinsella proposed to Atieno, a makeup artist, on February 14, 2019 (Valentine’s Day), and the two exchanged wedding vows in September that year.
The couple had planned to split their time between Nairobi, Canada and his native Ireland so they never bothered to file a spousal sponsorship to get her permanent residency in Canada, says The Star.
Kinsella suffered a stroke a year ago while travelling alone in Ireland in April and Irish authorities immediately issued Atieno an emergency visa to visit and look after him. They were in Ireland when she made her first failed attempt to get a visitor visa to escort him to Canada.
After they got married in Kenya, she applied again unsuccessfully for a visa to meet his friends and family in Canada. He went back to Nairobi and spent his Christmas with her but suffered a massive heart attack after his return to Canada in January 2020.
Kinsella said he has a hereditary heart condition that killed his father and two of his five siblings, all before 40.
According to his doctor’s report on his latest heart scan, in May, Kinsella, who also suffers diabetes, has a history of bypass grafting, stenting and maximal medical therapy through the years. He is currently on more than nine medications and his heart function is just 25 per cent.
“Unfortunately, his disease continues to progress despite his medical management,” his physician Dr. David Mee wrote in his medical report in May.
“His most recent scan (showed) a very poorly functioning heart. I have discussed with Pat his eventual mortality from his heart disease.”
Kinsella said he would have stayed in Nairobi with his spouse when he visited her in March 2020, but he was unable to find three of his medications in Kenya. His original plan was to get his prescriptions once in Ireland, but the country’s border was shut down due to the pandemic.
“My wife and (step) child have no interest in permanent residence in Canada. Our life plan, please God, is to spend summer here, fall in Ireland and winter in Kenya,” said Kinsella, who struggles with chest pains and light-headedness daily.
Canada’s border has closed since mid-March due to COVID-19 pandemic, but foreign family members of Canadian citizens and permanent residents are exempt if their travels are considered essential and nondiscretionary.
“I worry that Canada might deny us the visas the third time now despite my husband’s health situation. I fear that the worst might happen, and I will not be there,” Atieno said.
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