Fighting for life

16:00, Nov 20 2013
Sanil Kumar
VITAL HELP: Sanil Kumar, 30, needs to raise $130,000 for a kidney transplant otherwise he’ll be deported back to Fiji. 

Sanil Kumar has just a few weeks to raise funds which could determine whether he lives or dies.

The Glendene resident, who is originally from Fiji and has been working in New Zealand since 2010, had his visa declined in July.

Immigration New Zealand says there are Kiwis equally suitable to do his job.

Mr Kumar, 30, was diagnosed with renal disease this year and requires eight-hour peritoneal dialysis treatment every night while he sleeps.

Immigration New Zealand has given him until December 6 to leave the country, otherwise he'll be deported and won't be able to return for five years.

It's a life or death situation for Mr Kumar because the Kidney Foundation of Fiji says peritoneal dialysis isn't available in Fiji.


"If I have go back to Fiji I will die," he says.

The foundation of Fiji says only haemodialysis is available as the peritoneal option is costly and most of the patients using it died because of uncontrollably high infection rates.

Mr Kumar would need an operation to insert a catheter in his neck before he could undergo haemodialysis and would have to travel six hours from his home in Ba to Suva for four-hour treatment three times a week.

It's uncertain how much the operation would cost, or how long he would have to wait.

Mr Kumar is seeking a renal transplant but it comes at a $130,000 cost he can't come up with alone. So he's asking the community to help him raise the money.

Renal physician Naveed Ahmed says Mr Kumar is medically and physically fit to work.

"Although he's on dialysis, he does this in the evenings and overnight, therefore it would not affect his ability to work," he says.

Mr Kumar is struggling to understand why Immigration New Zealand is still not willing to comply.

"I don't have much time. I've been working in a good job and then someone who I've never seen or met is making the decision that I can't work," he says.

"There's not much hope for my future but hopefully there's people out there to help."

Mr Kumar is living with his uncle who is helping with the dialysis costs of $46 a day which equates to more than $17,000 a year.

Family here and in Fiji have helped raise more than $17,000 selling home-made food and raffle tickets at community events and there have been donations from kind-hearted business people and citizens.

Mr Kumar's father and uncle have even put their land in Fiji on the market to help pay for costs.

Mr Kumar will be eligible to apply for a medical visitor visa if he gets a transplant.

Immigration New Zealand area manager Michael Carley says Mr Kumar can access dialysis in Fiji and his work visa application was declined after a labour market test found there were New Zealanders suitable or trainable for his job as a metal trades worker.

"Immigration New Zealand also referred Mr Kumar's medical report to an independent medical assessor to determine whether he will meet immigration health requirements for any future visa applications.

"It is important that all migrants have an acceptable standard of health to minimise costs and demands on New Zealand's health services," Mr Carley says.


Call family friend Pradeep Chand on 021 736 850 or Kamata Prasad on 021 120 7465 for a $5 raffle ticket.

Tickets contain up to 10 prizes including two return airfares to Fiji and beauty vouchers.

Donate directly to ANZ bank account, 01 0721 0106892 55. 

Western Leader