Sarah Caisip (left) with her father Bernard Prendergast, younger sister Isobel Prendergast, 11, and mother Myrna Prendergast.
Sarah Caisip (left) with her father Bernard Prendergast, younger sister Isobel Prendergast, 11, and mother Myrna Prendergast.

‘Never forgive you’: Grieving daughter’s letter to Premier

A daughter who could not see her dying father one last time because of COVID-19 border restrictions has issued a scathing letter to the Queensland Premier after finding out she would also miss his funeral.

"My dad is dead and you made me fight to see him, but it was too late and now you won't let me go to his funeral or see my devastated 11-year-old sister," said heartbroken daughter Sarah Caisip.

The woman, who lives in the COVID-free ACT, was wrestling with the Queensland Government to be allowed into the state in time to visit her dying father Bernard for what would be their final Father's Day together.

Sarah Caisip (left) with her father Bernard Prendergast, younger sister Isobel Prendergast, 11, and mother Myrna Prendergast.
Sarah Caisip (left) with her father Bernard Prendergast, younger sister Isobel Prendergast, 11, and mother Myrna Prendergast.

 

Ms Caisip, 26, said she had to jump through so many hoops to convince the state of her need to enter the state that she missed her father's final moments.

"You won't listen and your government is destroying my life," she said in her letter to Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.

"Now you are preventing me from going to view his body, which is a very important tradition for me, and also preventing me from going to his funeral this Thursday, even though I am in Brisbane in hotel quarantine and only a few kilometres away.

"I came from virus-free Canberra, so the fact that I'm even in quarantine is beyond belief but the fact that I am being denied my basic human rights to care for my grief-stricken mother and little 11-year-old sister enrages, disgusts and devastates me at the same time."

She said the ordeal had taken a significant toll on her younger sister, Brisbane Year 6 student Isobel.

"We all need to be together - you have already done irreversible damage to me and my

family by not letting me come back sooner or for as long as I want on my own terms, and it's only getting worse.

 

 

"My little sister is now without my support and I will never forgive you ..."

Ms Caisip, a graduate nurse originally from Brisbane, said she had twice entered the state to visit her dying father before the newest round of border restrictions were imposed.

When applying for entry to Queensland this time, Ms Caisip used the same medical evidence of her fathers' condition as she had previously, but was asked to provide more recent updates of his health.

She was also told it would be unlikely she would be granted a further exemption should she need to attend her father's funeral later.

While Ms Caisip has now made it into the state, she said her two-week self-funded hotel quarantine would mean she would miss her father's funeral, which is to be held just kilometres away from her Brisbane "hotel prison".

She said she was contacted by a Government staff member and told she had originally only been permitted to enter the state to see her father while he was alive.

"The way he said it was like he was getting a kick out of stopping a naughty little criminal from coming from Canberra to be with her little family as the only legitimate reason to

be here is if her dad was still alive.

"Grief isn't important apparently.

"Even rapists and murderers don't have to pay for their own incarceration and I'm pretty sure they have more human rights than you're giving me.

"If you can't see how disgusting this is, then you're proving your approach is as horrible as most of the people I know are saying it is.

"I'm a young woman, have studied nursing and have tried my whole life to help people

and this is exactly what you don't do to people, especially little kids.

"I know from multiple attempts to try to get out of jail to see my little sister and mum and go to my dad's funeral that you don't think it's very important so this is all I'm left with as I sit here paying out of my minuscule savings to serve my sentence."

The Premier's office has been contacted for comment.

Originally published as 'Never forgive you': Grieving daughter's letter to Premier



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