An ailing Canadian man who fears he could die soon has pleaded with Canada’s immigration to issue a visa to his Kenyan wife so she can visit him.
Patrick Kinsella met 32-year-old Mary Atieno Otieno during a trip to Kenya in 2017 after she was introduced to him by a British friend.
The two had been communicating through email until December 2018 when Patrick, 56, returned to Kenya to visit Mary, a makeup artist. Patrick proposed to Mary on Valentine’s Day last year, and the two got married eight months later in September.
After their marriage, the couple had planned to spend their time between Nairobi, Canada, and Ireland, where Patrick was born and raised. However, things changed after Patrick suffered his seventh heart attack while Canada in January this year, which greatly affected the functioning of his heart.
He said he has a hereditary heart condition that claimed the lives of his dad and two of his five siblings, all aged below 40. Patrick, who also battles diabetes, is currently on more than nine medications and his heart is only 25 percent functional.
“Unfortunately, his disease continues to progress despite his medical management,” his physician Dr. David Mee said in a report last month.
Patrick had visited his wife in March this year but was forced to travel back to Canada after he was unable to find three of his medications in Kenya.
He has asked Canadian authorities to issue a temporary visa to Mary and her 10-year-old son so he can spend his last days on earth with them.
Canada immigration has already rejected Mary’s application for a visa twice—last June and November. She filed a third application last month after learning Patrick’s latest heart assessment results.
“I had to pre-arrange my funeral, as no father leaves such to his children. Choosing my own casket at the funeral home was a very surreal experience. I recently completed my will and paid off my gravesite at St. Agatha cemetery,” said Patrick, a retired youth services manager with the Ontario government.
“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. Our marriage is based on love, and I love her with all my heart. It was love at first sight in our relationship,” he said.
Patrick has two adult daughters with his previous marriage, which ended in 2011. When he married Mary, the two did not bother to file a spousal sponsorship to get her permanent residency in Canada because they had planned to split their time between the three countries.
“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,” said Mary.
“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.”
“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,” she added.
Canada suspended international travel in March due to the Covid-19 pandemic but foreign family members of Canadian citizens and permanent residents are exempted from the restriction.
“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 Patrick.
“Mary absolutely has no interest in becoming a landed immigrant here. All we have ever asked for is a compassionate temporary visa.