ISLIP, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A Long Island family is fighting the State Department to have a grandmother from China come to the United States to meet her granddaughter, who has a terminal illness, for the first time.
Glenn Hollins’ daily and devastating routine involves rushing to the hospital, where his 14-month-old daughter, Angel, is running out of time.
Angel has Sandhoff Disease, a rare illness that destroys brain cells.
“It’s terminal. There is no treatment and she took a turn for the worse this weekend,” Glenn Hollins told CBS 2’s Carolyn Gusoff on Monday.
The Hollins are hoping for a miracle, but at the very least they want their daughter’s only living grandparent to meet her before the child dies.
“It’s overwhelming, devastating,” said Ann He-Hollins, the baby’s mother. “I want my mom to come as soon as possible before its too late. I hate to say that, but I never know. My mom has never met the baby.”
Angel’s grandmother is in China, and her visa has been denied three times.
“Everybody…I talk to says ‘Oh [it’s] the Chinese government’ and I say ‘No it’s not the Chinese government, it’s the U.S. government.’ It’s the U.S. consulate who won’t allow her to come here,” He-Hollins said.
“She doesn’t want to stay at all. She has no intention to emigrate to this country.”
The visa has been denied because the grandmother is considered at-risk of staying in the U.S., but the Hollins vow she will return to China after meeting her dying granddaughter.
When the grandmother’s visa was last denied in February, the Hollins planned to take baby Angel to China to meet her grandmother. However, now, she is too sick and scheduled to get a feeding tube.
Lawmakers said they know this could be the grandmother’s first and last chance to see the child.
CBS 2 reached out to Sen. Chuck Schumer’s office and they are contacting the State Department. Congressman Steve Israel has also been on the case and is stepping up efforts with Angel’s condition more dire.
CBS 2 also reached out to the State Department, but the agency said it would not comment on individual cases.
What do you make of the State Department denying a visa in this circumstance? Share your thoughts in the comments section below…