Parents beg for help to bring dying daughter home
THE parents of a critically-ill little girl on life support in Mexico have begged the Australian government to help bring their daughter home.
Five-year-old Annabelle Nguyen has been receiving experimental chemotherapy for her brain cancer for the past year at a clinic in Monterrey, Mexico.
Now her parents are trapped because they cannot afford to pay for her to stay on life support and cannot afford to bring her home, either.
The Nguyen family only went to Mexico after Australian doctors told them nothing could be done to save their daughter.
At her diagnosis three years ago, doctors here gave Annabelle only 9-12 months to live.
In February, The Sunday Telegraph reported scans from her Mexican doctors showed she had no evidence of the deadly diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG), a brain tumour that is inoperable and fatal.
TO HELP THE FAMILY GO TO: www.gofundme.com/fighting-dipg-with-annabelle
But, in early May, the tumours returned and further treatment left her in a coma.
Her parents have already sold their home to pay $300,000 for the treatment.
In Mexico they are being charged $2300 a day for life support - a bill which she has now been on since May 3 and which is now nudging $70,000.
Sandy and Trung Nguyen said from Mexico that they are trapped without help from the federal government.
"I feel so hopeless, it's bad enough to be in this situation and not getting any help," Mrs Nguyen told The Sunday Telegraph.
"Annabelle remains in a coma and she doesn't breathe on her own so we cannot take a normal flight home.
"That's why I reached out to them to see if they can provide an ambulance flight.
"We cannot afford anything, we are completely out of money, bankrupt. We cannot stay but we cannot leave either given the circumstances. I want to take Annabelle back for better care and a chance to live."
Mrs Nguyen said the Australian consular team in Mexico had informed her they don't provide assistance to take Australian citizens home.
"They recommended us to have a Gofundme account," she said.
The family already has one - but it has been drained by the hospital fees.
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said it was "providing consular assistance" to the family but refused to comment further.
Mrs Nguyen said she had been contacted by consular officials in Mexico on Thursday who had requested medical documents to send back to Australia for assessment.
To help the family go to: www.gofundme.com/fighting-dipg-with-annabelle