• Sweden edition
 
Time runs out for 90-year-old deportee
Soon to be 91-year-old Ganna Chyzhevska with great-grandson Elvin

Time runs out for 90-year-old deportee

Published: 18 Oct 2011 11:58 GMT+02:00
Updated: 18 Oct 2011 11:58 GMT+02:00

”She stayed over at my house yesterday and woke up screaming in the middle of the night, but I managed to calm her down,” granddaughter Anna Otto told The Local on Tuesday morning.

According to Otto, her grandmother doesn't quite understand what is happening to her.

”She sleeps a lot. And she can't believe anyone would take her away from her own daughter,” Otto said.

When Chyzhevska’s husband died of cancer eight years ago, her daughter and granddaughter, resident in Sweden since 1995 and Swedish citizens, applied for residency on her behalf based on family connections.

Her application has been denied seven times by the Swedish Migration Board (Migrationsverket), despite Chyzhevska being in poor health and her family in Sweden wanting to care for her.

The most recent appeal, when Chyzhevska and her family were given a two-week reprieve to be able to prove that she is too old and ill to be moved from her family, was turned down by the Migration Board.

Ingvar Karlsson, expert on dementia, from the Sahlgrenska Hospital in Gothenburg, wrote in his review of Chyzhevska's case that her confusion is likely to become irreversible and potentially lethal to the nonagenarian woman.

But the medical counsel that the Migration Board used did not think that this was enough to keep her in the country.

”They said that as it isn't her present condition but how it will become more serious if she is moved that is the problem; this argument won't hold,” Otto said.

According to Otto, no preparations have been made in the Ukraine to meet her grandmother when she gets off the flight.

”No, no one will be there to meet her. First the [Migration] Board told me it was none of their business what happened at the other end. Later, they asked me to accompany her there, but I can't,” Otto said.

The long process has left Otto shaken but determined to make as many people as possible know how the Migration Board has handled the case.

”I have believed the whole time that it will work out in the end. But it isn't about just my grandmother any more, they have treated many others just as abominable,” said Otto.

As a last resort, Otto will attempt to talk to the airline which operates the flight her grandmother is scheduled to board on Tuesday afternoon, and inform them of her condition.

”I have brought with me the medical certificates and I am hoping that the air personnel will refuse to let her board the plane,” Otto told The Local on Tuesday morning from a taxi bound for the airport.

According to the medical experts consulted by the family, Chyzhevska's dementia means that she is likely to react strongly and aggressively to being removed from all that is familiar to her.

”To me it is clear that Ganna in the case of deportation very likely will enter a state of severe confusion. To let a confused, motorically impaired and potentially aggressive person travel by air is not possible,” wrote Karlsson.

He also pointed out that sedatives are not an option, as dementia patients get more confused if sedatives are given.

The rules of the Ukrainian airline, Aerosvit, state that if there are reasons to presume that a passenger requires special aid from the airline, or if the the passenger is likely to cause discomfort or danger to themselves or other passengers, the airline has the right to deny the passenger to board the flight.

”If the airline follow their own rules they can't actually let her board the plane,” Otto said.

However, by the early afternoon Otto had not managed to get anyone to look at the medical certficates she had brought with her.

The next step, after making another attempt at the airline, Otto's intends to appeal to the Migration Board for her grandmother to be allowed to stay an additional two months in Sweden.

”Then it will all be about preparations. She'll need a TB-vaccine before going, and I will have to try to make arrangements to go with her,” Otto said.

Otto, resident in Sweden for over 15 years, does not want to leave the country.

”I have built my life here and would have to start from scratch finding accommodation and a job. Not to mention that I have a baby son. It won't be the easiest, trying to convince his Swedish father that we should all move to the Ukraine. It is not a desirable change, let's put it that way,” she told The Local.

The deportation of the soon-to-be 91-year-old Chyzhevska has been criticised by the Swedish Red Cross, urging the agency to retry their decision.

"It feels both absurd and inhumane to deport a 91-year-old who hasn't got a single member of family in her country of origin," wrote Ingela Holmertz of the Swedish Red Cross (Svenska Röda Korset) in a statement.

The Swedish Dementia Association (Demensförbundet) also issued a statement in support of Chyzhevska's case.

"Ganna probably hasn't got that much longer to live, let her spend her last years with family, let her die with dignity," wrote chairwoman Stina-Clara Hjulström.

Supporters of the Chyzhevska case were being urged through Facebook and Twitter to join a protest at Arlanda airport at 1pm on Tuesday.

The flight bound for the Ukraine is scheduled to leave Stockholm Arlanda Airport at 3.55pm on Tuesday.

Rebecca Martin (rebecca.martin@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

12:57 October 18, 2011 by Abe L
It's outrageous that her application was denied 7 times and she's still here. She should have been forcefully deported the first time, al be int on a chartered military plane if the regular airlines won't take her.

There is a reason your application gets denied and it's not acceptable regardless of any sad stories to say in Sweden afterwards.

Old people requiring healthcare only cost the Swedish taxpayer money and won't contribute their selves anymore. No reason whatsoever to let them in.
13:06 October 18, 2011 by Addendum
May your penis shrivel up as small and black as your heart.
13:07 October 18, 2011 by Redbee
This is the souless decision by the red tape brigade who treat everyone as a number without considering individual cases. I myself have only family in Sweden but though getting on i am in good health and own my own home and have state and small works pension ,.I wonder if although in the EU i would be treated in the same way if i needed to be near my own family becauses i live in a country with a national health service and i have no private health care .You see a different side of sweden when you read whats reported in the press .I wonder if the royals could intervene ,no i thought not .
13:08 October 18, 2011 by justanotheruser
Just so SAD ...

ever more for "Abe L" i hope you won't end up like that in your 90's
13:14 October 18, 2011 by Frobobbles
A sad case of spineless politicians and formalism without empathy.
13:16 October 18, 2011 by Miss Kitten
Be that as it may, I fail to understand why after the death of her husband, she wasn't permitted to stay with her immediate family now living in Sweden. She's already been here for eight years and has at best one year of life left. Therefore, she will cost the Swedish tax payer very little.

Furthermore, she's physically and emotionally unfit to travel, but Migrationsverket in their infinite wisdom have decided otherwise despite the medical certificates stating these facts.

At this point it's more or less the same circumstances as a dependent child not being able to leave its parents.
13:17 October 18, 2011 by engagebrain
Could she not apply for asylum in Sweden.

Sweden is not such a poor country that we can't afford deceny.
13:23 October 18, 2011 by Corvinus
I'm with Abe on this one..why open the floodgates to health-care tourists who then have to be paid for by a system they never contributed anything to? The ones at fault in my opinion are her selfish relatives who refuse to leave their cushy life here to care for her. Yes it would be "undesireable" but sometimes you have to suck it up and deal with it. It's undesireable for my tax money to be spent dealing with other people's laziness.

Yes it is unfortunate for the old lady to be having these issues but that doesn't equate to a get out of jail free card for disregarding the rules everybody else has to follow. It was her selfish kin that got her into this situation by illegaly bringing her to the country. If I ever find myself in her situation I wouldn't hope for an understanding foreign government, I'd hope for relatives with the decency to put their own interests behind them and care for me.
13:32 October 18, 2011 by Grokh
i guess result of taking way too many people that didnt diserve, the migration board became heartless.

However for someone to be denied 7 times... there has to be more to this story.

Can her relatives afford to have her and take care of her ? but even then ive seen dozens of useless arabic people leeching on help because the are from war country and refuse to learn the language because they dont have to since they are getting paid for doing nothing.

Also why doesnt the article explore the migration board side of this story ?
13:43 October 18, 2011 by StockholmSam
Awful. Anyone who works at Migrationsverket should be embarrassed and ashamed over this.
14:12 October 18, 2011 by 4254
everybody who wants to ask practical questions on the matter should first read previous article:

http://www.thelocal.se/35984/20110906/
14:47 October 18, 2011 by Opinionfool
@4254

Thanks for the reminder of the original article. As I read that it seems that this 90 year old has not been dependent on her child until very recently. So in that respect the law should be followed, she isn't truly dependent on a Swedish resident and therefore ought to return to her native country.

While lots of other commenters are saying how heartless the Swedish authorities are, what about the heartlessness of her child who seeks to keep her away from her roots and, presumably, the grave of her dead husband. One of the worse things that can be done to someone with dementia is to change their surroundings, it only adds to their confusion and distress.

Her family are being as heartless themselves but cutting her off from her culture and her people. If they really cared for her and believe that she does not have long to live they should move back to Ukraine with her and care for her there.
15:00 October 18, 2011 by bubbagump
@Abe L and Cornvinus - Apparently you are missing the fact that her family who is here in Sweden and who are citizens of this country are also paying taxes. I love how people always think that they're the only one paying taxes and that their "personal" amount is somehow covering someone elses expense. So although her entire family is here and Swedish Tax payers, screw the Grandma, is that it? You might have had an argument if it was a large family who were excempt from paying taxes. Not the case here.

Second, what if the family had offered to pay for privat hälsförsäkring for the Grandmother? Then there'd be no bidrag in this case. What then? Would you allow her to stay then if treated in only private swedish hospitals under her private health insurance? If your answer is yes, then I pitty you. For a few thousand kronor (not yours by the way) you'd be willing to cast out a 90 year old who's entire family is Swedish.

Unbelievable. And Opionfool, you've lost the plot.
16:17 October 18, 2011 by budaboy
@ bubbagump

I am with you all the way, heck, i will pay for her private health insurance the first year if she gets to stay.
Today's headlines
Stockholm 'sub hunt'
Sweden ready to use force to surface sub
The Swedish Armed Forces have sent out 200 troops. Photo: TT

Sweden ready to use force to surface sub

UPDATED: Sweden's military has announced that if it finds a suspect foreign vessel in the Stockholm archipelago, it is prepared to force it to the surface "with weapons if necessary". READ  

Stockholm 'sub hunt'
Sub hunt: 'There is something out there'
Former navy officer Bosse Linden in Vaxholm. Photo: Maddy Savage

Sub hunt: 'There is something out there'

Stockholm's archipelago is the focus of the biggest military operation in Sweden since the Cold War. The Local is in the region's capital, Vaxholm, to see what residents make of the drama. READ  

Presented by CurrencyFair
CurrencyFair: Why it pays when making overseas transfers
CurrencyFair co-founder Brett Meyers

CurrencyFair: Why it pays when making overseas transfers

Tired of losing money when you send cash back home? Join other expats in Sweden who avoid bank fees and hidden charges by sending money internationally with CurrencyFair, an online marketplace where secure transactions are faster and cheaper. READ  

European Union
Extremist saves Sweden Democrats' EU group
Sweden Democrat leader Jimmie Åkesson. Photo: TT

Extremist saves Sweden Democrats' EU group

The EU group that bound several Eurosceptic parties including the Sweden Democrats has been saved by an MEP from a far-right Polish group, just a week after it appeared to have crumbled, according to a UK press report. READ  

Stockholm 'submarine' hunt
Timeline: Mystery 'submarine' in Stockholm
Sweden's Armed Forces are out in force after reports of a foreign vessel in the Stockholm archipelago. Photo: TT

Timeline: Mystery 'submarine' in Stockholm

The world has had its periscope on Sweden since the Swedish military launched an extensive hunt for what is rumoured to be a damaged Russian submarine in the Stockholm archipelago. Here is the timeline of events so far. READ  

Business & Money
Profit leap for Swedbank
A branch of Swedbank in Malmö. Photo. TT

Profit leap for Swedbank

Swedbank has seen its profits rise higher than expected. READ  

New coalition
Sick pay U-turn from Sweden's new coalition
Stefan Löfven has changed his strategy on sick pay. Photo: TT

Sick pay U-turn from Sweden's new coalition

Small businesses won't face rising sick pay costs, following a policy reversal from Sweden's new coalition government. READ  

Stockholm 'submarine' hunt
Vessel hunt continues at 'full strength'
Minehunter HMS Koster takes part in the search in the Stockholm archipelago on Sunday. Photo: Marko Säävälä/TT

Vessel hunt continues at 'full strength'

The search for a suspected foreign vessel in the Stockholm archipelago continues with "full strength" on Tuesday morning, according to Sweden's armed forces. READ  

Ebola crisis
Sweden hit by two Ebola false alarms in two days
The Uppsala University Hospital. Photo: TT

Sweden hit by two Ebola false alarms in two days

UPDATED: A patient has been cleared of any Ebola suspicions at the Uppsala University Hospital. It marks the second suspected case in Sweden in two days. READ  

Analysis
Why a foreign vessel lurks in Swedish waters
The HMS Stockholm patrols Jungfrufjärden in the Stockholm archipelago on Monday morning. Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT

Why a foreign vessel lurks in Swedish waters

With Sweden engaged in its biggest domestic military operation since the Cold War, The Local spoke to Johan Wiktorin, a fellow at the Swedish Royal Academy of War Sciences, to get insight into what’s going on in the Stockholm archipelago. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Gallery
Property of the week: Malmö
Gallery
PHOTOS: 'Foreign activity' in Swedish waters
National
Sweden deploys troops over underwater threat
Gallery
People-watching: October 19th
TT
Society
QUIZ: How good is your Swedish?
Blog updates

19 October

Getting it (Blogweiser) »

"Follow Joel Sherwood on FB Few watch baseball in Sweden. This is excellent when your team loses..." READ »

 

17 October

Editor’s Blog, Oct 17th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hi readers, Here’s the whole week of news in just 60 seconds. The most-read story was about a..." READ »

 
 
 
Business & Money
Get your own office in Gothenburg or Stockholm - free for a day
National
A Touch of Scandinavia: Reindeer in the kitchen
Lifestyle
What's on in Sweden: October 17th - 24th
Society
The nudity... and nine other things expat men notice in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 15th
Gallery
Your views: Should outdoor smoking be banned in Sweden?
Business & Money
Sweden has 'large hole' in finances
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Finding a job in Stockholm
Society
Monster salmon caught in northern Sweden
Gallery
Property of the week: Lorensberg
National
Scandinavia's child bride
National
Ebola crisis: How is Sweden preparing?
Lifestyle
Sweden's The Bridge to become 'more Danish'
Business & Money
How Sweden is becoming a cashless society
Gallery
Stockholm Burlesque Festival 2014
National
How a little red horse became a symbol for Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 12th
Business & Money
The hottest start-ups from southern Sweden
National
What's on in Sweden: October 10th - 17th
National
Stockholm is 'best' region for well-being
Gallery
People-watching: October 8th
National
Five facts to know about Patrick Modiano
Society
My Swedish Career: A French fashionista in Sweden
Society
Swede's anti-bully Facebook tale goes viral
Society
Have you seen Sweden's viral subway cancer campaign?
National
Isis: Swedes linked to Turkish prisoner swap
National
Should Swedes be banned from buying sex abroad?
Gallery
Fredrik Reinfeldt's leaving presents
National
Five Swedish TV shows you shouldn't miss
Gallery
A tool belt, a casserole, and a book. Fredrik Reinfeldt's parliament gifts
TT
Lifestyle
Top five winter festivals in Sweden
TT
National
Sami reindeer herders win mine reprieve
Gallery
Property of the Week: Gamla Enskede
Sponsored Article
How to catch the first lobster of the year
Politics
Ten new minister faces you should know
Tech
First womb transplant baby in world born in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 5th
National
What's on in Sweden
National
Sweden rethinks Afghan translators' protection
Society
Interview with Geena Davis: 'I want to be in a Swedish movie'
Team SCA
Sponsored Article
All-female SCA team takes off on Volvo Ocean Race
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

1,005
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se
If you want to drink, that’s your business.
If you want to stop, we can help.

Learn more about English-language Alcoholics Anonymous in Sweden. No dues. No fees. Confidentiality assured.
AA-EUROPE.ORG/SWEDEN