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A Filipino man whose wife died in childbirth from a hospital’s negligence has been allowed to stay in the UK, after an intense campaign by UNISON.

Arnel Cabrera, (38) was initially denied residency in 2004 by the Home Office, after his wife, Mayra, a theatre nurse at Great Western Hospital Swindon, died at the hospital. She was incorrectly given a powerful anesthetic. Soon after his wife’s death the Home Office curtailed Mr Cabrera’s leave to remain in the UK. UNISON challenged the decision.

Dave Prentis, General Secretary of UNISON, said: “I am delighted that the Home Office has seen sense and reversed their decision. UNISON funded Arnel’s fight to remain in the UK as we firmly believed he and his son Zac had the right to build the family life they had planned before Mayra’s tragic death.”

Mr Cabrera, supported by UNISON, his wife’s trade union, applied for leave to remain in the UK, but the Home Office refused. The union funded a further application for Mr Cabrera and today the Home Office confirmed that he will be granted indefinite leave to remain in the UK. Mr Cabrera will now apply for his son to join him in the UK.
Mr Cabrera said, “I am so glad that my application was finally granted and I would like to thank everyone who has supported me. I look forward to the day when Zac and I can continue our lives here in
England as we planned before Mayra’s death.”

Mayra Cabrera died on May 11 2004 shortly after giving birth at the Great Western Hospital when a midwife mistakenly hooked up a drip to her arm of Bupivacaine, a potent anaesthetic to be administered epidurally.

An inquest earlier this year held that Mayra was unlawfully killed by the Trust. At the time a spokeswoman of the Trust stated, “this case should not have happened and I hope other hospitals will be able to learn from the bitter lessons we have learnt.”

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