Devastated son rushed home from Belgium to Australia to see dying mum

A DEVASTATED son rushed halfway across the world to see his dying mum but she sadly died while he was stuck in hotel quarantine.

James Turbitt was eager to travel back home to Australia from Belgium to be by his mum’s side but was forced to be put in hotel quarantine in Victoria.

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James Turbitt travelled from Belgium to Australia to see his dying mumCredit: Ten the Project

Mr Turbitt, who has tested negative for Covid-19 and is double jabbed, arrived in Australia on Friday, only to be informed the next day that his mum had only 12 hours to live.

Despite his pleas to the authorities, he was not allowed to fly to Western Australia to see her before she died.

He was only able to say his final goodbye via a hotel internet connection and his mum eventually passed away in Perth’s Fiona Stanley Hospital on Sunday at 1.30am.

Since the beginning of the pandemic travellers arriving in Australia have been required to go into a hotel quarantine for two weeks, with a few exceptions where people were allowed to isolate at home.

Speaking to Ten’s The Project, Mr Turbitt has expressed his anger towards the “deplorable” quarantine laws.

“It is an absolute nightmare, the worst period of my life,” he said.

“I’m devastated, heartbroken and pretty much embarrassed to be Australian right now. The quarantine laws here are absolutely deplorable.

“They give out these compassionate exemptions, but I don’t know who they give them to. They give them to the celebrities, Nicole Kidman, Tom Hanks…

“I understand that they are trying to keep Covid out, but they shouldn’t be doing it like this.” 

Mr Turbitt, an Australian citizen, said he was forced to fly directly into Melbourne as no flights were available to Perth.

Mr Turbitt who lives in Antwerp claims he was told by Victoria’s Department of Health that even if he was granted an exemption, he would need to charter his own plane to Western Australia to ensure he wouldn’t put anyone at risk, reports.

His mum sadly passed away while he was stuck in hotel quarantine

His mum sadly passed away while he was stuck in hotel quarantineCredit: Ten the Project

He had previously tested negative for Covid-19 on June 13, before leaving Brussels and again before boarding to his flight to Melbourne.

The man who had not seen his mum for two years was stuck at Stamford Plaza in Melbourne and said authorities were unhelpful and showing “fake empathy.”

Despite his efforts to explain to health officials the situation, his requests were declined.

Mr Turbitt has now gone on hunger strike in a bid to get the process changed, calling the quarantine laws “inhumane.”

“When I got to the hotel I said ‘I’m not eating because I need someone to listen to me,” he told NCA NewsWire.

“No one else should have to go through this. I know it’s not the best thing to do, but it’s immoral, it’s inhumane.

“She was a lovely, caring, compassionate lady, she was a nurse herself, we spoke every day.

“I loved my mother wholeheartedly and I had to spend her last moments locked in a quarantine hotel room all by myself, powerless.

“No one knows how that feels except me. It was the most distressing thing I have ever had to do.

“There needs to be some change to these inhumane laws … so that in the future other people in my situation might well just be able to get to say goodbye.”

He added that health officials had since asked for the funeral details to be able to provide an exemption.

“I’m sitting here by myself, I can’t take a domestic plane there, they won’t let me drive there, I don’t have $50,000 for a charter flight, my sister can’t even think about a funeral right now and I can’t even afford to get there if I was allowed,” he said.

“I just feel really let down by my own country. I truly believed when I left Brussels that I was going to be able to see my mum.

“I’m an Aussie citizen, they should be here to help me in times of need.”


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