‘Pain worse than labour’: Biloela mum flown from detention

 

The mother of a Tamil family fighting the Federal Government to live in Central Queensland has been flown to hospital from Christmas Island.

Priya Murugappan is currently awaiting tests in a Perth hospital after suffering ongoing bouts of illness at the detention centre where the family is held.

The family, which includes husband Nades Murugappan, and their Australian born daughters Kopika and Tharunicaa, lived in Biloela until moves were made to deport them to Sri Lanka in 2018.

The Courier-Mail understands Mrs Murugappan has been suffering severe abdominal pain and vomiting and has been unable to keep food down.

The 44-year-old asylum seeker has told friends that her stomach swelled to the point she looked eight weeks pregnant and the pain was worse than labour.

Tamil family Nadesalingam Murugapan, Kokilapathmapriya Nadarasa and their children, Kopika and Tharunicaa. Picture: Ten News
Tamil family Nadesalingam Murugapan, Kokilapathmapriya Nadarasa and their children, Kopika and Tharunicaa. Picture: Ten News


In the last month she visited the hospital on Christmas Island four times but on Friday the local doctor refused to discharge her until she was taken to the mainland for treatment.

Angela Fredericks, who lives in Biloela and is a family friend, said the family was overwhelmed but relieved she was getting treatment.

Kopika (right) and Tharunicaa, the daughters of the Biloela Tamil family at the detention centre on Christmas Island.
Kopika (right) and Tharunicaa, the daughters of the Biloela Tamil family at the detention centre on Christmas Island.


"Tharunicaa who is only three has never been separated from Priya for extended periods, except for the raid when they were taken from Biloela and when they were sent to Darwin - both traumatic events, so she is very distressed today," Ms Fredericks told The Courier-Mail.

"Whereas Kopika realises she is going to get treatment.

The family want to return to their former residence in Biloela where they have the strong support of the community.

Their case was bolstered in April when the Federal Court ruled Tharunicaa had been denied procedural fairness in making a visa application.

The Department of Home Affairs declined to confirm the medevac stating it did "not comment on individual cases".

Biloela residents have been strong in their support to bring the Tamil family to the town.
Biloela residents have been strong in their support to bring the Tamil family to the town.

Sri Lanka's bloody decades long civil war ended in 2009 however the family fears persecution if they are made to return.

The family's court case is ongoing.

Originally published as Biloela mum flown from detention with 'pain worse than labour'