Daughter in hotel quarantine refused chance to say goodbye to her dying mother

Andrea McCourt is desperate to see her dying mother one last time but tough Covid-19 restrictions in Western Australia are keeping them apart.

Ms McCourt is worried she will miss her chance to say goodbye.

“I don’t know what I’ll do if she passes before I see her,” Ms McCourt told NCA NewsWire over the phone, with her voice shaking.

Andrea McCourt with her mother. Picture: Supplied to NCA NewsWire
Camera IconAndrea McCourt with her mother. Supplied to NCA NewsWire Credit: Supplied

Ms McCourt and her husband Mark are Australian citizens but they live in Texas.

They flew to Perth via Sydney on December 28 and were sent to quarantine at the Pan Pacific Hotel where a security guard tested positive for Covid-19 over the weekend.

Although it was arranged that they could see Ms McCourt’s mother, who lives in a retirement village, on Wednesday, it was only about half an hour beforehand that they received an email informing them the visit could no longer go ahead.

“I sincerely regret to inform you that following thoughtful consideration, the WA Health Incident Controller has this morning withdrawn support for today’s visit due to increasing concerns regarding the public health risk associated with your visitation request,” the email read.

“Please know that we are endeavouring to navigate this complex environment and subject to further approval, will strive to reschedule the visit as soon as practicably possible, nonetheless regrettably we are unable to propose a future visitation date at this time or guarantee the same.”

Ms McCourt said both she and her mother had been ready early that morning to see each other, adding she was “flabbergasted” when her husband told her about the email — not even a phone call.

“It just seemed like they were stringing us along,” she said.

“That, to me, was disgusting.

“I couldn’t call my mother to tell her.”

Instead, she called her sister to break the devastating news.

Andrea McCourt and her husband Mark have been left devastated after being refused at the last minute the chance to say goodbye to her dying mother. The couple are quarantining in Perth after arriving from the US. Picture: Supplied to NCA NewsWire
Camera IconAndrea and Mark have been left devastated after being refused at the last minute the chance to say goodbye to her dying mother. The couple are quarantining in Perth after arriving from the US. Supplied to NCA NewsWire Credit: Supplied

Ms McCourt said she felt like she had been given false hope.

She has since spoken to her “very weak and tired” mother over the phone but it is not the same as being able to see her in person.

Mr McCourt told NCA NewsWire he believed their situation and any others like them should be a “hot topic” in Australia.

He said a “one size fits all” approach did not work and his friends in the United States were outraged when they learnt what was happening.

“It’s an absolute mess,” he said.

Mr McCourt said he and his wife felt “pressure” because his mother-in-law “could die at any moment”.

“She’s holding on to the hope that she can see Andrea one last time,” he said.


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