SHOCKING pictures show a 96-year-old pensioner with dementia sleeping on an airport couch after she was forced to leave Australia.
Christina Grant, who has extremely poor eyesight, was ordered out of the country following a visa mix-up and is due to arrive back in Scotland tonight.
The flight was delayed for at least five hours in Dubai, meaning Christina had to rest in the lounge. A video, taken by her daughter-in-law at the airport, shows Christina clearly very confused about what is happening to her.
Diane Grant, 67, said her mother-in-law’s condition had deteriorated so badly in the past six weeks that it would be “easier to travel with a two-year-old”.
The pensioner moved over 10,000 miles from Dulnain Bridge in the Highlands to New South Wales in Australia in 2015 to be near family after her son Robert, who looked after her, died.
Her visitor visa required that she leave the country once a year but this had expired and the authorities decided that a South Pacific Cruise booked for her by her family did not qualify.
Christina was then given an ultimatum to leave the country by July 26 and her family say they have heard nothing since.
Diane and husband Allan, who live north of Sydney, New South Wales, are accompanying Christina back to a very uncertain future in Scotland. To make matters worse, an already lengthy flight from Australia was delayed for at least five hours in Dubai as a result of technical problems.
Video filmed by daughter-in-law Diane shows a confused Christina sitting in the airport lounge in Dubai talking to son Allan.
When he asks her about the flight she says “I don’t think we’ve been travelling very far” – even though they have already travelled 7500 miles (12,000 km) from Australia and are only halfway through their trip.
She also seems confused when her son asks where they are going, as she replies: “We’re heading to Scotland, I think.”
The pensioner nods when asked if she will be happy to return to Scotland, but admits that she will miss Australia.
Her son Allan consoles her by saying that they will be staying with her for a while, to which she retorts – “Oh you are? Have you been invited?”
Diane said today: “Taking care of a vulnerable pensioner on such a long flight has not been easy for the family.
“Chrissie has handled it OK but it would be easier to have a two-year-old. She just doesn’t understand it all and is confused.
“This has been very hard on Chrissie And brings us to tears at times – she has deteriorated immensely in the last six weeks.”
Christina added: “They left us with no option after they expired her visa. She won’t get a new visa for medical reasons so she would be left in limbo here if anything happened to us so we decided only option was to take her back home where she is a legal citizen.
“There is extended family scattered around Scotland who will look out for her and we will just have to travel back and forth.”
Diane and Allan plan to look after Christina in her own home in Scotland while they look for a care home.
The Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection insist that they had been working with the family to resolve the situation that they “did not made any arrangements to remove her from Australia”.
But Diane denies this. She said: “We have no idea of who they have been working with to resolve this issue as we have not heard from them since they gave us the ultimatum about five weeks ago.
“We were trying to get her visa reinstated as it was expired due to immigration policy which is not legislation, but they would not have a bar of it.”