By Bruce MacKenzie
A family is fighting a decision that could see them forced to leave the country because their six-year-old child has a mystery illness.
Kai Tippett, from Lennox Head on the New South Wales far north coast, said his daughter Sienna had lived in Australia since the family moved from England when she was 10 months old.
He said the mystery ailment first became apparent several months later, and had affected her balance and speech.
“We started noticing when she was about 16 to 17 months old, she started having a little bit of a wobbly walk,” Mr Tippett said.
“So from then we took her to the paediatrician, who then referred her to get more tests done.
“Basically she’s got an undiagnosed condition, there is no label to it.”
Mr Tippett said his daughter had had numerous tests and they all came back clear.
“She’s quite headstrong, so she participates in everything an able-bodied child would, [but] she has slight balance issues and she doesn’t talk,” he said.
Mr Tippett said while he and his wife had their applications for permanent residency approved, his daughter’s had been refused.
“From the medical [tests], she got deferred on medical grounds, saying that she doesn’t meet the criteria,” he said.
“We were just devastated. It’s one thing [having] to learn to come to terms with when you find out your daughter has got a disability, I mean it’s a gut-wrenching feeling.