Dying Canadian man wants Kenyan wife given visa to visit him

Dying Canadian man wants Kenyan wife given visa to visit him

Dying Canadian man wants Kenyan wife given visa to visit himHeart surgery gave Patrick Kinsella a new lease on life two years ago. Staff at St. Mary’s Hospital even nicknamed the Kitchener man “Miracle Guy” for his quick recovery.

In December 2018, Kinsella travelled to Nairobi to visit a woman with whom he had been corresponding by email. The two got married and were supposed to start a new life between Canada, Kenya and Ireland, where Kinsella was born and grew up.

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But the plan took an abrupt detour after Kinsella, 56, suffered another heart attack in January. A scan in May showed his heart function had been greatly compromised as a result.

“I had to pre-arrange my funeral, as no father leaves such to his children,” said Kinsella, a retired youth services manager with the Ontario government. “Choosing my own casket at the funeral home was a very surreal experience. I recently completed my will and paid off my grave site at St. Agatha cemetery.

“I do not expect to see September. I will go any day. My concern is I will never see my wife and (step) son again,” he lamented. “Our marriage is based on love, and I love her with all my heart.”

Kinsella, who has had seven heart attacks since 2011 due to a hereditary heart condition, now hopes immigration officials can grant Mary Atieno Otieno, 32, and his stepson, Ramsey Dickson, 10, temporary residence visas to spend his remaining time with him here.

He’s worried that Ottawa has already denied Otieno’s application twice — last June and November — to travel with him to Canada because officials feared she would not leave at the end of her visit. She filed yet another application in late May after learning Kinsella’s latest heart assessment results.

A spokesperson for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada said the department was unable to comment on Kinsella’s and Otieno’s case Friday.

Kinsella came to Canada from Ireland in 1988 and retired from the Ontario government after 25 years. In 2014, he began travelling and volunteering for international aid groups before a British friend introduced him to Otieno in Kenya in 2017.

“It was love at first sight in our relationship,” said Kinsella, whose previous marriage ended in 2011. He has two adult daughters from that marriage.

Otieno said Kinsella was open about his heart condition when they met and she had no fears concerning his condition.

“Pat is a great and special man to me. A man with a rare personality. I found a husband in him and a father to my son. He is loving, caring and selfless. His passion for helping the less privileged anywhere in the world says it all,” Otieno said.

“Love knows no bounds. Terminally ill people may live longer than expected. I have never allowed any negative thoughts about our future. Prayers work wonders.”

Kinsella proposed to Otieno, a makeup artist, on Valentine’s Day last year, and the two married in September. The couple had planned to split their time between Nairobi, Canada and his native Ireland so they never bothered to file a spousal sponsorship to get her permanent residency in Canada.

Kinsella suffered a stroke a year ago while travelling alone in Ireland in April and Irish authorities immediately issued Otieno an emergency visa to visit and look after him. They were in Ireland when she made her first failed attempt to get a visitor visa to escort him to Canada.

After they got married in Kenya, she applied again unsuccessfully for a visa to meet his friends and family here. He went back to Nairobi and spent his Christmas with her but suffered a massive heart attack after his return to Canada in January.

Kinsella said he has a hereditary heart condition that killed his father and two of his five siblings, all before 40.

According to his doctor’s report on his latest heart scan, in May, Kinsella, who also suffers diabetes, has a history of bypass grafting, stenting and maximal medical therapy through the years. He is currently on more than nine medications and his heart function is just 25 per cent.

“Unfortunately, his disease continues to progress despite his medical management,” his physician Dr. David Mee wrote in his medical report in May.

“His most recent scan (showed) a very poorly functioning heart. I have discussed with Pat his eventual mortality from his heart disease.”

Kinsella said he would have stayed in Nairobi with Otieno when he visited her in March, but he was unable to find three of his medications in Kenya. His original plan was to get his prescriptions once in Ireland, but the country’s border was shut down due to the pandemic.

“My wife and (step) child have no interest in permanent residence in Canada. Our life plan, please God, is to spend summer here, fall in Ireland and winter in Kenya,” said Kinsella, who struggles with chest pains and light-headedness daily.

“Mary absolutely has no interest in becoming a landed immigrant here. All we have ever asked for is a compassionate temporary visa.”

Canada’s border has closed since mid-March due to the pandemic, but foreign family members of Canadian citizens and permanent residents are exempt if their travels are considered essential and nondiscretionary.

“I worry that Canada might deny us the visas the third time now despite my husband’s health situation. I fear that the worst might happen, and I will not be there,” Otieno said.


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