Lebanese Couple Faces Deportation As Son Fights For Life

NEW YORK (CBS 2) — Omar Audi is a typical nine-year-old, except that he’s battling a deadly disease – and soon, he may be forced to do it alone.

Omar’s parents are being kicked out of the country, and away from the only place their son can be treated.

Now, they must make an impossible choice: leave their son alone, or take him home, they say, to die.

Every day presents a terrifying unknown for Omar and his parents, and they are desperate.

Omar, a Lebanese national, has a rare disease called hereditary andioedema. The illness causes painful swelling inside and outside his body, swelling so severe that it could kill him.

Omar was diagnosed with the disease in 2007, when he fell ill during a visit to New York from Lebanon.

“I get scared,” he said.

Every three days, Omar gets injected with a breakthrough medication that’s unavailable in his home country, but the very treatments that are keeping him alive may tear him apart from his family.

“I swear to God, I will take you with me,” his mother, Dania Audi, tells him.

At first, immigration officials allowed his parents to stay in the United States while Omar was being treated, but now his heartbroken mother and father are being deported.

“Everybody who has children, who has kids, to feel what I feel – that they want to separate us,” his mother said. “I can’t leave him alone, even if I want to die, but I can hug him.”

Omar was recently granted asylum and can stay with his grandmother in Queens, but the timid little boy says he can’t live without his parents.

“If they went, I want to go with them and die there,” Omar said.

Omar’s mother knows that taking him back to Lebanon will also mean taking him away from his medicine.

“I know he will die, I know,” Dania said.

Omar’s doctor, Dr. Paula Busse, said Lebanon isn’t an option.

“I feel like sending him over there is just, almost, a potential death sentence,” Dr. Busse said. “I just can’t, in my heart, let anyone go through that.”

The swelling is unresponsive to antihistamines, adrenaline or steroids, and the consequences of returning home are potentially tragic.

“They’ll die, often, in front of family members who are witnessing the patients die from airway swelling, so it’s a horrible, horrible death,” Dr. Busse said.

Busse reached out to the government, including Councilman Peter Vallone, who went to the Department of Homeland Security to advocate for the Audi family.

“I reached out to DHS and basically told them, ‘look, if there’s ever a case that called out for Christmas compassion, this is it,’” Councilman Vallone said.

Omar’s parents have hired an attorney, and they are appealing their deportation.

“This is not about staying in the States,” Dania said. “If the medicine is available in my country tomorrow, I will leave.”

Leaving Omar behind means the Audis might never see their son again.

“We need him,” Dania said. “We can’t live without him.”

For Omar, only one thing matters.

“I’m with my parents, and I’m safe with them,” he said.

The Audis pray that someone will hear their plea to save their son and their family.

Omar’s parents are scheduled to be deported on Christmas Day.

The Audis hired a new attorney to appeal their case on Thursday. The family is hopeful to get an extension that will allow them to stay together in the United States.

More from Hazel Sanchez

One Comment

  1. shamia says:

    he goes to my school

    1. shamia says:

      he goes to my school and the school’s name is ps234q and he has my last years teacher and he is my best friend and also he in 4rth and im in 5th

  2. Haissam barakat says:

    I would like to get in touch with the parents. Please forward mg email to them. Thank you.

  3. Seham(mother of two) says:

    Please instead of talking about politic,Religion,,,,,,stupid comments,,,,we are human been,and this child need help,please any one who has suggestion,donation,anything that can help,please contact the PTA of his school P.S 234 Astoria,Queens,NY

  4. Cadmus says:

    Nick you sound like a red neck who lives in the desert,
    70% of deported Lebanese from US are Christians, noe of the Muslims were deported and Lebanese Christians comes to US, because they are on the front line dying from the Arab redical terrorists, so you and the world have peace.
    Why? because Washington edicted to the Arab Muslem oil, people like never been told the truth, what really is going on.

  5. P. Jackson says:

    I am praying and will continue to pray for Omar and his family. How cruel to have this happen on Christmas day,. The holy family was also turned away, may they take the Audi family under their special protection for a compassionate resolution to this problem.

  6. Cadmus says:

    Howard Stern will like you very much and he might hire you to work for him.

    1. Cadmus says:

      Nick is a double agent working for the German Nazis and communist, that what he sound like in his comments.

  7. Jennifer says:

    Reading some of the above comments I am horrified that these people call themselves Americans. Regardless of what others in this child’s country have done, this is still a human being, and young child who may grow up to do great things. Where is the value we as a society place on a human life. This boy’s family should be allowed to stay with their son, only a heartless person could remove a sick child from the love and care of their parents.

  8. Cadmus says:

    Mr. Nick you sound like racist made in Germany,

    By the way you can Join the Anti-Lebanese club, by the way for your information When you say Lebanese, that means Christians, Jews, Musloms, Gay and Lisbian.
    Here is a list of Anti-Lebanese immigration Judges:

    1- Judge Thomas M. Ragno
    2- Judge Francis L. Cramer
    Both have scored the records in Lebanese deportation, so you can feel safe, even before 9/11.
    3- Consulate John Weigel

    1. Nick says:

      So people who don’t like to be killed by you muslims are “racist”? “nazi”? And here you Islamorons have been telling the world that nazi’s were right.

      1. Cadmus says:

        Lebanon is the only middle east country with the majority are christians, so what you are expresing is what the terrorist wants, to turn America against middle east christians, so they come back from behind and eleminate them.
        The corruption in washington and the ediction for the Arab oil is the problem here including blind people like you who dont know what really is going on.

      2. Nick says:

        So “Omar” is a Christian? Check your “facts”. Oh wait, facts and truth are anathema to you muslims.

      3. Cadmus says:

        Nick you are a real idiot, what you think Audi is Muslem, it is the same name of Audis cars who were designed by Audi from Lebanon. I guess you need to go back to school for class in history and geography

      4. Nick says:

        Cadmus, you have to be born stupid. Nobody can possibly be working that hard at being that stupid. Just too much work.

        Just do a google for their Facebook page.

      5. Tony Kariofili says:

        Dude learn your history most lebanese are Christian Orthodox do some reading before you talk out of your ass they dont even mention his religion.

      6. Matthew Feimer says:

        we are getting way off course here!!!keep to the facts people.

  9. Paul says:

    Oh ..well.. this is how USA does is business. I was one who got taken up at work and deported….

  10. na says:

    if the boy was born in israel the US will do everything for him and his family lmao even for the all israel ppl

    1. Cadmus says:

      The Zionist did and continue to do so, with their spy network to play different agent, they deport children from Israel for non-Jews parents

    2. JOHNIE says:

      camel turds fyi lebanon is not arabic nation it is christian base forced to live with muslums by way of french mandate that put leftover ottoman turks who came to kill christians. made them equal partners in constitution forming independance in 1948 not lebanese people . and camels towel heads and desert nomads that would be palastinine isreali persion and saudi’s not canno-phoenicians of lebanon wh gave us alphabet ,salt , currency, contracts, buildings , bathrooms ,
      irragation, and democracy the only people were womens had equal rights from day 1 around 12000 years before christ. . oh and most important phoenician dna is same as american-indian’s TRUE AMERICANS . YOU STUPID BIGET

    3. Tony Kariofili says:

      That is true.

  11. Cadmus says:

    My dear friends,
    Illegal immigrants are in every small busines, building, restaurant, rich man house, every State and in every dirty job no one wants it. Illegal and legal iimigrants are the corner stone of the nation economy, stop the corrupted leadership and immigration judges who are lying to the American people and to the contitution. Stop those who wants to make American look like the Nazis who hate the Jews, Muslems who hate the free world and communist who hate democracy.
    Illegal immigrants are the main engine of the US economy, amnisty is the only generator for economy, you can stimulate and flood the market with billions of hidden money. Amnesty is the only option to get you out of the ditch.
    Deporting Lebanese from US is just like shooting yourself in the leg. Ask yourself why there is thirty cities across the US named Lebanon? Lebanese are the Phoenicians, you nation will rise with their hard work and talent, stop living the fantasies, killing the truth of human history and stop idiocracy in Washington and get a real life.
    God bless America

    1. Matthew Feimer says:

      Cadus.The Audi family is here legally.They are not criminals.Legal immigrants are what makes this country great.Il legals are here breaking laws.Focus on th e Audi family!!!

  12. BAALBAKI says:


    1. Nick says:

      And I’m sure you’re dying to blow him up, aren’t you?

  13. BAALBAKI . A says:


  14. anna (mother) says:

    The fact that the “powers that be” are even considering tearing apart this family is horrifying. It is simple, how would you feel if it was your child? This destruction of love must not happen.

  15. Cadmus says:

    This is not the case on the main street, it is the corrupted immigration judges who failed the constitution. American people dont have a real statistic who is coming to their nation or who is granted, if he is good for the nation or not, some people are very naive to think that applying the law is enough. but in this case is clear what need to be applied, human dignity and respect. Many US born children from Lebanese parent are already deported, in violation to the US constitution.

  16. The Good Samaritan says:

    If an immigrant is here illegally or here on an expired work visa the immigration police have the right to arrest and deport the offenders.

    The Good Samarian has spoken

  17. Mohamed Fakih says:

    No comment……I’m Lebanese

  18. Paul says:

    Send the medication to him in Lebanonvia air mail. What’s the big deal?

    1. rolfen says:

      That’s what I was thinking too. It’s not like Lebanon does not have proper hospitals. They could also try to get asylum in another country that has them.
      Not that I support the US decision here – just wondering why the family don’t find another solution.

    2. Matthew Feimer says:

      not easy at all,the treatment is experimental and cant be sent there unless they have approval from govt.other thing is God Forbid its late,he is literally gonna die.He swells up right away if hes an hour late

  19. Sam says:

    It breaks my heart that this has to happen. I’m a father. I can feel the pain that they’re going through. Oh God, send someone to help them…

    1. The Good Samaritan says:

      Sam if you are in the USA after a work visa expired you deserve to be deported.

      The Good Samaritan has spoken

      1. Mr says:

        Good Samaritan, your name is a contradiction but I’m guessing your trying to be funny. USA has issues, you have issues. I guarantee you the family would want nothing more then to go back to Lebanon if their son was ok. USA citizens have a heart!

      2. Matthew Feimer says:

        There visa were taken away because they missed a hearing.They missed the hearing because she was giving birth to twins.What was she suppose to do???have them at the hearing?

  20. Cadmus says:

    Another Perspective on the Boston Immigration Court

    Over the years, a few of the 225-plus immigration judges have been suspended without pay or removed permanently for proven misconduct.

  21. Cadmus says:

    What about deporting US born children from Lebanese parents, this is an Anti-Lebanese policy in the US and abroad and against the US constitution, the US immigration has a history of Anti-Lebanese in retaliation to the killed marines in Beirut. This is a winning ground for terrorist to create fire between democratic nations, and as common interest for Lebanese and American people . Lebanon and Lebanese are the minorities on the front line for an ancient religious conflict. Corrupted leaders on both sides done nothing to the suffering individuals like these people and others like them who were deported from US in retaliation. The US people are very good people and Lebanese are very hard working people and have played a very strong role in building the US through out the history, just like their ancestors the Phoenicians.
    Every nation will suffer by economy, if rejecting the Lebanes-Phoenician ancient people, this is the rejection of the smart talented hard working people.

  22. Ahmed Ehab Awad Abdellatif says:

    please some one help…….. no body can stand that

  23. cheryl says:


  24. Sally Neville says:

    this is very depressing to hear how much you have to go through to be with your child..it’s unbelievable ….especially this time of the year… i think they should be together…it’s his parents..i do hope every thing work out for the best…i wish them good luck…

  25. kim says:

    american judges sentence innocent people in america to death all the time. judges are corrupt

  26. kim says:

    I dont know why there are rules sentencing people to death.IS IT CONSTITUTIONAL to send a child off to die or be abandoned by his caretakers. would the founders of our country want people to die or be abandoned.I say bend the rules if someones health or lifee is at stake. also why did they try to deport barak obamas aunt? because its the rules? its the presidents aunt they should make that exception. thats real lame. rules are made to keep everyone safe and happy. if following the rules will kill or harm someone then the rule is pointless.

    let the poor kid stay and his caretakers stay while the kid is sick or turns 21. we should deport criminals and not innocent women with a sick child.

  27. Sally Neville says:

    this is so sad….this child should not be without the ones he loves the most..his parents…i hope and wish that they all can be together where he can have his medications…and it’s the holidays ..regardless they should not be separated…

  28. Marc Lloyd says:

    If America still has a soul, let them stay. Show compassion. Angioedema is a rare disease that not everybody who visits the US has. Who wants to suffer from this disease anyway just to be able to stay in America?

    1. rolfen says:

      Well spoken. This is obviously an exception and needs exceptional ruling.

  29. Orli Lombardi says:

    How can they do that?? I hope now that this was on network TV someone important will step up and straighten out this rediculous messup!

  30. all4J says:

    GOD bless AMERICA, GOD bless those people whose heart is after GOD’s own heart…I know you exactly knew the right thing to do, not by influence, instinct nor basic laws but by your pure conscience and a Heart ruled by LOVE!

  31. all4J says:

    Dear Mr.& Mrs. Audi, pls have FAITH in GOD! JESUS loves us all! I will include you in my Prayers especially OMAR’s healing & recovery….

  32. Jerry says:

    This is typical American Government. If they had some “oil” to offer they would be allowed to stay. God help Obama, I never will.

  33. ernie m pineda says:

    its only one family and they want this to torne apart????

  34. Concerned says:

    I guess I have to pay his medical bills. No wonder my medical insurance premium are more that I pay for is more than $5,000 a year. I hope I can get free medical care in Lebanon when I’m sick.

    1. Lisa Sharkey-Abbas says:

      The drug he recieves is experimental so no insurance company pays THEY do! So instead of whining about your premiums start thinking about a 9 year old being sentenced to DEATH!

  35. nudetrue says:

    Only Hispanics have the right to be in the country, especially, if illegally.

    That’s the way things are in the United States…

  36. all4J says:

    As a father, I personally feel my son’s heartbeat cause his life is entwined in mine..when he’s happy I am, when he suffers I can feel it deeply down in my own soul….don’t we have any ROOM left in our Heart for this? THINK, put on their shoes for a while……ARE WE HUMAN at all as what we thought?

  37. James Johnson says:

    It’s sad that the government puts bureaucratic red tape before saving someone’s life like with Hurricane Katrina and the sick 9/11 first responders.

  38. maxy says:

    Obama dear president if u r dad u will feel pain what omar parents r going true only president can help them help this family .god will bless us live yo life for others.

  39. aidkyl says:

    I have been waiting 2 1/2years for my 2 1/2yo son to get the help he needs from our government as his medical needs are so great. We have given everything up in order to get him the medications he needs and to see the variouse specialist he needs. We have the insurance but it doesn’t pay. OUr government lets its own children die because it is a stingy government who only cares about the power and money in this world, not the little people. This poor boy is sick and faced with seperation from his parents…obsured but not surprised after my experience. They would rather see my son die than help.

  40. farrukh says:

    It is Hereditary Angioedema not andioedema.

  41. Chazz Eddie Borjas says:

    So you mean the President of the United States can’t grant this poor family permission to stay in the US so their son can get treated, but send him back to his country to die, and yet he is defending illegal immigrants at the same time?
    I think it is extremely hypocritical and sad to allow something like this.
    There must be something that can be done rather than have this family separated, or the boy return with his parents to hi death sentence

  42. all4J says:

    We, as Christians, are very trying hard to teach the world what it really mean TO LOVE and BE LOVED just as JESUS did before…..would this be difficult for us to take an OPPORTUNITY?

  43. Jeffrey says:

    I don’t see what the big deal is about them staying in America? If they’re productive people living in our society, why should they be forced to leave? Also why is the U.S. Government being so lenient with our borders and letting Mexicans in, but when it comes to a foreign Lebanese family our government says no? Maybe these people should be offered a test to make them citizens? They seem like nice people who speak our language. I wouldn’t mind them living here. They deserve better treatment giving their sick child. Our government is heartless! This is a crime to do to a young child, to force his parents to leave him!

  44. maryam says:

    let him drink coconut milk… every 2 days that can help him….

  45. Pilipina says:

    Please make the boy happy while he suffers. And spare the family from more pain.

  46. Pilipina says:

    Mu heart bleeds for this family. No amount of medicine would heal the boy without the love and care of his parents. Give compassion and love this Christmas.

    1. capt. allan says:

      please AMERICA…give this family a chance….!!!!! i know GOD will help you…HE wilL NOT leave you in vain !!! PRAY !!!!

  47. cris says:

    America is mess up now…what more can they do?

  48. shiloh says:

    Make Israel pay for the gas and the chemicals they used in their bombing of Lebanon

    1. Helena Esther says:

      shiloh, why is your answer/comment to this family’s painful predicament an angry statement that has nothing to do with Omar’s genetic serious ailment? Do you think anger and hate will heal anything? Say a prayer for Omar and his family, be thankful for your own health and freedom in this great country!

  49. PAUL says:


  50. paul says:

    How CAN I HELP?

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