Melbourne woman Juliet Wilson is facing the fight of her life.
Key points:

  • Juliet Wilson and David Macneill have had four applications for permission to travel to Australia rejected
  • Ms Wilson is undergoing chemo for breast cancer and will have a double mastectomy in August
  • Mr Macneill is scheduled to fly on July 12 so he can spend two weeks in hotel quarantine before her surgery

She’s currently having chemotherapy for stage three breast cancer and is having a double mastectomy and her lymph nodes removed in August.
The only person she wants by her side is her husband, who is stuck in Canada and can’t get permission to come to Australia.
Australia’s borders are officially closed although some people are being allowed into the country under strict border caps which were recently halved by National Cabinet.
Ms Wilson and David Macneill were married in a legally recognised virtual ceremony on May 31.    
They were stuck on opposite sides of the world when COVID-19 hit and had no other choice.
Mr Macneill is fully vaccinated and lives on the east coast of Canada, where he cares for his elderly mother.  
David Macneill says he can’t imagine not being allowed to support his wife after surgery.(ABC News: Nicole Asher
He wants to come to Australia for three months while Ms Wilson recovers and then return to Canada.  
“It’s eating me up inside not having an answer,” he said.
“I’m praying I get to leave on [July] 12 because I can’t imagine Juliet doing this without me.”
Travel exemption sought on compassionate grounds
The couple has applied for permission for Mr Macneill to travel as her spouse and on compelling and compassionate grounds.
But their applications have been rejected four times.
“Given the personal nature of the care that I require and what I’m going to be confronting, [it’s] not only the physical toll, but the emotional toll of having a double mastectomy and continuing to battle my cancer,” she said.
“David is the love of my life. Hes a beautiful human being. Hes my partner, my soul mate, my confidante, my rock.”
Ms Wilson said the fact that her husband wanted to come and care for her after surgery demonstrated the level of love and commitment in their marriage.(ABC News: Nicole Asher
They have provided all the required documentation and Mr Macneill can arrive in time to complete 14 days of hotel quarantine before her surgery.
But time is running out.  
“If David’s not allowed to come I simply do not have anyone who can provide the care that I need,” she said.
“I love Australia and think of us as a compassionate country, but I dont feel my own country is being compassionate towards me right now and that breaks my heart.”
Ms Wilson says her husband may live in Canada but they have joint bank accounts and have planned a future together.(ABC News: Nicole Asher
Border arrival caps cut under National Cabinet agreement
It’s a tragic situation made worse by the announcement that the number of overseas arrivals would be cut in half as Australia tries to cope with outbreaks of COVID-19 in four states. 
“It’s bad enough she went through the chemo alone and I was OK knowing that I would be there for her surgery,” Mr Macneill said.
“[But] me not being there to help her, I can’t get my head around it. It just doesn’t make sense to me that I’m not allowed to go take care of the woman I love.”
Victorian Health Minister Martin Foley said the arrival caps did allow for people to return on compassionate grounds.
“We’re faced with a really hard choice: Do we lock everyone down or do we lock a few people out,” he said.
“As tough as that decision is, there are still ways and means of resolving particular humanitarian crisis cases.”
Ms Wilson has had chemotherapy and after she recovers from surgery will have five weeks of radiotherapy.
The Australian Border Force (ABF) confirmed immediate family members were exempt from travel restrictions.
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It said they must provide evidence of their relationship.
It also confirmed that requests could be considered on a case-by-case basis in compelling circumstances.
The couple’s lawyer, Dushan Nikolic, said the ABF had concerns about the legality of their marriage which were addressed in the fourth application.
He has sought a review of that application on the basis that the compelling and compassionate circumstances criteria had not been assessed.
“My hope is it will reach the right ears and people will realise it’s a valid and genuine application and these are really critical circumstances that I’m facing and to help us. And to help me get the support that I need,” Ms Wilson said.
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