BOSTON (CBS) — Two-year-old Dilbreen’s urgently-needed surgery at Boston’s Shriners Hospital for Children has been canceled for now because of President Donald Trump’s executive order banning immigrant travel from seven countries for 90 days.
The order is keeping the toddler separated from his parents, who are stuck in their Iraqi refugee camp.
“He’s in urgent need of surgery to prevent him from losing vision,” said Sally Becker, who heads up the U.K.-based humanitarian aid group Road to Peace. “The problem is, Dilbreen can’t go through surgery without his Mom. He’s already been suffering from separation anxiety after four months without her.”
Becker told WBZ-TV when Dilbreen’s family in Iraq went to a scheduled meeting with the Consul Sunday to get visas to join their toddler in the U.S., they were abruptly informed the meeting was canceled.
“There’s no way that Dilbreen can wait 90 days for surgery,” said Becker.
In the refugee camp where the boy’s family settled after fleeing ISIS, a heater exploded, burning him. After Road to Peace rushed him to Boston, his mother gave birth to his baby brother, ironically named “Trump.” To them, the name represented freedom from ISIS.
“I understand that President Trump believes the ban will protect U.S. citizens, but it’s having a devastating effect on many innocent people, including sick and injured children like Dilbreen and I’m quite sure that if he saw this little boy, he’d allow the parents to join him,” said Becker.
Road to Peace is now looking into moving Dilbreen from the U.S. to the U.K. to have the surgery there instead of Boston, with his family by his side.
For more information about Road to Peace, visit their website www.roadtopeace.org.uk.