Lebanese Couple Granted Permission To Stay In U.S. With Sick Son

Parents Of Omar Audi Get Help From NYC Councilman Vallone

NEW YORK (CBS) — Last month, CBS 2 was the first to tell you about a Queens couple being deported and forced to leave their son behind as he battles a deadly disease.

Our story was brought to the attention of immigration officials who delivered good news to the family on Tuesday.     

For the last two months, 9-year-old Omar Audi from Astoria, Queens, was terrified he would have to fight his potentially deadly disease alone. His parents, with expired visas, were being deported to their native Lebanon.

“I was scared if my family would go ‘cause I would miss them,” Omar told CBS 2’s Hazel Sanchez.

As CBS 2 reported in December, Omar suffers from a rare condition called hereditary andiodema, which causes painful swelling inside and outside his body.

Omar was granted asylum so he could be treated with medication not available in his home country. Dania and Rawi Audi were faced with the prospect of leaving their son behind.

That is, until Tuesday.

“It’s amazing, like dream.” Dania said.

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Last month, City Councilman Peter Vallone reached out to the Department of Homeland Security on the Audi’s behalf.

“I was amazed today when I heard from the head of immigration here in New York saying that he took a look at the file as soon as it hit his desk and he realized that it was wrong to tear apart a family,” Vallone said.

Immigration officials granted the Audis a two-year extension, allowing them to stay in the states with their three sons.

“Now they can stay here with me and I can stay with them and I can be happy,” Omar said.

“You Hazel, you the one. You the one that helped me. God bless you and your family. God bless everyone who helped me,” Dania told Sanchez.

“I’m so happy now. Because Omar happy … I’m happy,” Rawi said.

Their once fearful faces have now been replaced by a smiling family filled with hope.

“He will live. He will not die,” Dania said.

And they pray one day Omar will be cured.

The Audis’ case will be reviewed in two years. They could receive another extension if Omar’s medication is still not available in Lebanon.

More from Hazel Sanchez
  • Amal Chahli

    To Dante , Marc and Mr Armenia : Now the Audi family is staying in the US legally !!
    and all of you GO TO HELL lol

  • Aisha

    In the words of rodney king- ‘cant we all just get along’?:-))

  • Mr Armenia

    If i persons visa expires and they stay in the country the need to be deported no matter what

  • John Scott Masterson

    I am happy to see that the usually heartless US government acted in a humane way, for once. Usually, tearing families apart does not even receive consideration from those thugs, as they it to so many all the time.

    God bless this family and all of those who contributed to making this happen. I pray that God will look out for this family and heal this boy. Doctors themselves admit it they they can only do so much, but at least this family will have access to better medication in the US.

  • DanTe

    If Arsellah is so great, how come they can’t be healed in their great camel dung huts?

    This is the Great Satan, Land of The Infidels. Why are you here being contaminated?

    Do as you muslimes always do, strap a bomb around the boy and go


    • F.K


  • Nassif Maroun

    For all our Brothers and sisters American We want you to remember the American Lebanese community is one of the most active in building and supporting USA and we are proud of it .Stop the B.S and respect yourself and others………………..

  • Rebecca

    wel done, Councilman Vallone for having a good heart.
    To those rejecting aliens to their country without considerations.
    Are you the creator of the land of America that you’re so arrogant and heartless? Don’t do unto other what you don’t want others to do iit unto you.
    If we, God’s creations live according to God’s commandments…. then we can be save and be blessed rahter than being destroyed by God in his ANGER OF YOUR WEAKEDNESS…….
    Repent and be save…. GOD is the CREATOR and our heavenly Father………He is coming soon and when He comes, only those who walks in His patheand live a christian life shall be save…… Fear GOD! He is the Alpha and the Omega……..Our life is in His hands……
    To the sick…. God is our creator, greatest healer… as long as we humble ourselves in His presence…… Glory unto GOD!

    • Thunder Soul

      wow, you are an idiot… no wonder the muslims wanna kill you…

  • f.k

    In Lbenanon everything is available. but this is a excuse to stay in u.s.a.

  • Open Mind

    No, that simply means, that the US granted ONE family and ONE boy asylum and treatment!!!
    If the companies that produce the drugs would make them available and AFFORDABLE everywhere in the world, then situations like this would not happen!
    Unfortunately the humans’ greed is too big to allow room for compassion and until that changes, people in countries less fortunate than the US will have to rely on the good-will of others.
    All those here that are “simply speaking the truth” should consider for just a moment what it would be like, if you didn’t live in a country as privileged as the US!
    Oh, and you might also consider this: the US isn’t without fail either, given that China holds most of your debt!!! So if somebody is footing the bill for this family then it’s – by extension – China, NOT the US!

    • DanTe

      You want to pay for the billion$$ in research to come up with these drugs than?

      NO mind is more like it. Twit.

    • Budget deficit

      The debt still has to be repaid.

  • hussain abdul

    prayers for the audi family and god bless u omar insaallah u shall be cured tx to american govt. for considering n leetin the audi’s stay in america. god bless america n its people.

  • Temitope Soretire

    I pray for your quick recovery Omar Audi that the good Lord in his infinite mercy speak life into you again in Jesus name,Amen! and for those of you with kind words may you find mercy and favour.I also pray for you with bad comments that you don’t find yourselves in terrible situations that all you need is the mercy of man that don’t come often and for God to have mercy on us all-Amen!

    • John Scott Masterson

      From God´s word, the Holy Bible.

      Matthew 5: 5-9
      Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
      Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
      Blessed are the merciful,for they will be shown mercy.
      Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
      Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.

  • Budget deficit

    Heartbreaking, but who is paying for his treatment. There are millions of people in 3rd world countries who need specialized treatment for various diseases that is unavailable at home. Does this mean they can now come to the USA for treatment?

    • Roger Daugherty

      For your information budget whatever, the boy is a US citizen having been born in the US. His parents were going to be deported (not him) because they are not US citizens and he can only give them the citizenship when he is 18.

      • Murray Hill

        Really genius? The boy is a U.S. citizen? Then why was he granted asylum so he could be treated with medicine not available in his home country? Lol people who are born in the U.S. and are U.S. citizens don’t get granted asylum. That makes absolutely no sense. Just in case you don’t know what being granted asylum means—it’s when a citizen of ANOTHER COUNTRY needs to stay here because although they ARE NOT AMERICAN CITIZENS—returning to the country WHERE THEY ARE CITIZENS would put them at risk for serious injury and/or death. Meaning he is not a U.S. citizen. I’m not even going to try to figure out what you’re talking about with giving them citizenship when he is 18. Lol you have no idea what you’re talking about.

    • John Scott Masterson

      One at a time, my friend. Since this boy is among us now and needs attention, we should focus on him instead of on the millions of others who, as you said, also require medical help. God will never leave you to starve while you trust in Him and use your resources to help others, and He will always bless those with a kind heart. Please remember that it could have been you in this boy´s situation, as it is not due to your own merits or doing that you live in the US instead of a poor country, but only by God´s grace and blessings for you. It is indeed a blessing when you are given the chance to show mercy and love towards your fellow man and you should thank God for it instead of worrying about things that could be taken away from you by Him at any time!

  • Hussein El-Husseini

    Wishing the Audi family all the best, being in the states or anywhere else in the world, in the end we are all human being, and proper medical treatment is human right to everyone, regardless of where you come from.

  • eady

    I fully it was the best decision immigration people could take. Well done people you have living hearts.


    May the good Lord in his infinite mercies grant Omar a divine healing in Jesus name Amen & Amen!!!

  • Jo Mary Graham

    if you’re gonna hate because you think they’re muslim, just because they’re arab, please keep in mind that it is an arab women like Brigitte Gabriel that are leading the opposition to islam in America……the woman speaks english, the grand mother is from Queens, and she isn’t wearing a hijab….jus sayin =)

    • robert

      Brigitte Gabriel is a courageous woman, I have the greatest respect for her.

  • pancho lardizabal

    Glad to know that there are still a lot of good guys around.

  • truther

    So the Muslim Lebanese will be allowed to come to the States to treat their son with the Jewish doctors,eh?…Very interesting…

  • Lilian

    I’m praying for you Omar…Get well soon

  • Moe

    Well done Immigration, you have helped those who really need help. God bless

  • alyemani

    May allah Cure his disease Inshaallah,and good luck to the Audi family

  • jada

    Just like you did not appreciate our Muslim doctors!!!! The facts are shown how they appreciate the non-Muslims. What world are you in Honey? Guess you are buzzing like an idiot clueless bee…Complete ignorance

    • goerge

      the reason they stayed because they were none muslim,if they were mulim,they wouldve deported imdeiatly,that th sad truth,but none the less,im happy for the boy,hope he’ll get better

  • jada

    anyone who makes nasty remarks should be deported. What if he clicked and saw this. Wow buncha cowards if confronted. No one should wish ill on others!!!!!



  • Robert

    You’ll be sorry…they still hold Americans in contempt!

    • jada

      Who is being sorry? Idiot this is the land of immigrants what world are you in?

  • william mitchell

    immigration did the right thing congadulations to them and the family they helped

  • marc

    awesome that we Americans will have to flip the bill for yet another third world parasite…we’re no more than the worlds entitlement program

    • William Gov


    • Jeffrey

      you must die marc

    • truther

      Hey, Marc! Don’t write the truth because it can offend many folks.

    • KPMc


      the phrase is “foot the bill”

      But I guess the advantage of English as your first language and being born here didn’t help… You’re still a moron.

  • Mike G.

    Send his meds to Lebanon–Problem solved. Thank You.

    • jada

      Why don’t you stay in another country other then America, seems to me that you are rascist

  • Al

    It shouldn’t matter if they’re lebanese or not. People shouldn’t be deported for their sexual preferences. Lebanese or straight is OK by me.

    • Jennifer

      Wow..its not like we hav’nt heard that joke before, so much creativity there buddy.

      And speaking as a Lebanese (and aChristian one), oh wait, but arn’t all arabs muslim?? Well, if you lifted your noses up from all your pop culture, gossip, hollywood driven world, you would learn a bit about something other than the little city u live in, I really pitty your pathetic, empty comments.

      Hope the kid gets well soon.


  • New Yorker

    At least this time immigration officials showed some common sense. Wishing hte best for the Audi family.

  • Captain Obvious

    Very cool :)

    Prayers to the Audi family – Omar has a much better chance of beating this disease with his family at his side !!

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