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Queensland Government Denies Toddler Hotel Quarantine Exemption After Open-Heart Surgery

A two-year – old girl would be forced to recover from open heart surgery in hotel quarantine after the Government of Queensland declined to allow her family an exemption from the stringent border laws of the State.

Last week at Westmead Children’s Hospital in Sydney, Luella Gilliland underwent gruelling surgery.

The crucial activity could not be postponed, and was already scheduled when the government of Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk closed the New South Wales border.

Her mum Lauren told Weekend Today that Luella’s operation was successful, but she still has “a long way to go with her recovery”.
“She’s a bit restricted with what movement she can do, so trying to keep a toddler under control has its challenges,” she said.
“Emotionally, she’s still struggling a bit – she’s very clingy, has night terrors and some sleep disturbances.
“She’s still not eating well either, so she’s dropped quite a lot of weight from the surgery.”

At Ronald McDonald House in Westmead, the family had been in self-imposed isolation, never venturing outside except across the road to the hospital for check-ups.

Despite this, they were refused their application to be given an exemption from compulsory hotel quarantine for 14 days upon their return to Brisbane.

It is a decision that has been slammed as “heartbreaking” by the State’s opposition leader Deb Frecklington.

“Labor were quick to rollout the red carpet for Danni Minogue but to their shame won’t lift a finger to help this little girl,” Ms Frecklington wrote in a statement on Facebook.
Ms Gilliland said the five doctors from Luella have shared their fears about the dangers that hotel quarantine presents – including possible exposure to COVID-19.
“They’ve all stated their concern over what risks the hotel would pose to her, becoming a high-risk environment to contract COVID,” she said.
“Despite being in post recovery, she will always have that heart condition.”
Luella is getting her final check-up with her medical team from Westmead on Tuesday, where she is supposed to be given the green light to return home.
“So we’re just praying that, come Monday, the decision to place us in hotel quarantine instead of the safety of our own home will be relooked at,” Ms Gilliland said.
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