Pictured: Anna Coffey, who is desperate to see her dying father in Victoria
An Australian woman who was blocked from seeing her terminally ill father due Covid restrictions, unless she forked out thousands for a private jet, has been offered a charity charter and is set to take off on Wednesday.
Anna Coffey, 32 told Daily Mail Australia she raced home from New York about a week ago upon getting the heartbreaking news her 80-year-old dad John suffered a stroke and is in palliative care at a Melbourne hospital.
Doctors said he may only have days to live and that time is running out for Ms Coffery to see her beloved father one last time.
But despite being fully vaccinated with the Moderna jab, the Columbia Business School student was stopped by the Victorian and New South Wales health departments from driving south in a ridiculous case of box-ticking.
Diplomats have been allowed to fly into Sydney and then drive to Canberra to enter quarantine, but Ms Coffey was told the ‘travel time’ to Melbourne was too far – and she would instead be forced to shell out $7,500 for a private plane.
Anna Coffey was told she needed to fork out thousands of dollars for a private jet in order to travel from Sydney to Melbourne to see her beloved dad (pictured, left) before he dies
Ms Coffey raced home a week ago upon getting the heartbreaking news her 80-year-old father John (pictured together) suffered a stroke and is in palliative care at a Melbourne hospital
Upon her arrival in Sydney, she was not aware she would be stopped from driving the nine hours to Melbourne and forced to remain in hotel quarantine.
A public furor erupted over the heartless bureaucratic rules and even Prime Minister Scott Morrison weighed in on the ordeal, telling her in a heartfelt letter he’s ‘deeply sorry’.
It’s been a rollercoaster ride of emotions over the past seven days for Ms Coffey, but now things are looking up after Angel Flight organised a private charter to fly her out of Sydney and into Melbourne tomorrow.
The organisation normally coordinates non-emergency flights to help people living in remote areas access specialist medical treatment, but in this case they reached out to help Ms Coffey.
‘The first part of the week was pretty awful,’ Ms Coffey said.
‘There was a lot of uncertainty, anxiety and I’ve had trouble sleeping.
‘But in the last few days it’s been pretty amazing and I’ve been so touched by how lovely everyone has been and how willing everyone has been to try and help me in any way they can.’
It’s been a rollercoaster ride of emotions over the past seven days for Ms Coffey, but now things are looking up after Angel Flight organised a private charter to fly her out of Sydney and into Melbourne tomorrow. Pictured: An Angel Flight plane
Ms Coffey has not seen her family since the pandemic began in November, 2019, and said she’s has mixed feelings about the circumstances surrounding their emotional reunion.
‘It will be exciting but also very sad to have to face seeing my dad in the flesh in the way that he is compared to the last time I saw him,’ Ms Coffey said.
‘I think it’s also going to be very hard.’
She said her father, originally from the UK, led a ‘very interesting life’.
‘He served in the Navy and ended up in Australia in his mid twenties,’ Ms Coffey said.
‘He’s done so many interesting things. He worked on a sheep station in Australia. He was also an sculpture artist and a great writer.
‘He’s just an amazing person that took care of me and is the smartest man that I know – very wise and very funny.’
Ms Coffey has not seen her family (pictured together) since the pandemic began in November, 2019
After hearing of Ms Coffey’s heart-wrenching ordeal on Monday, Mr Morrison, who has no control over state quarantine policies, expressed his sympathies in a letter.
‘To be so close to home but to still be so far away from being able to see your father must be heartbreaking,’ he said.
‘I farewelled my own father last year and I know how important those last moments are.’
The Prime Minister also vowed to reach out to the Australian Health Principal Protection Committee to draw up a more consistent plan to deal with compassionate exemptions for those blocked from seeing critically ill loved ones during the pandemic.
‘I definitely appreciated the letter,’ Ms Coffey said.
‘I was very touched that he would do something like that and it really kicked off a lot of media attention that led to me being able to go home and see my father.’
After hearing of Ms Coffey’s heart-wrenching ordeal on Monday, Mr Morrison, who has no control over state quarantine policies, expressed his sympathies in a letter