A bureaucratic mix-up in Canada is delaying vital cancer treatment for a two-year-old Venezuelan boy, and precious time is passing as hospital and immigration staff try to sort it out.
Two-year-old Adrian Malagon has retino blastoma, or eye cancer. In April, he and his mother came to Canada when nothing more could be done at home in Venezuela. He was treated at Toronto's Hospital for Sick Children for eight months and showed some progress.
Malagon was scheduled for cancer treatment Wednesday in Toronto, but he can't get back into the country.
A homesick Malagon and his mother had gone back to Venezuela for the holidays on a plane ticket donated by an American airline. When they went to pick up their return visas from the Canadian embassy, they were told they couldn't come back until all their hospital fees are paid.
While his family waits to collect all the money, Adrian is losing time.
He lost one eye to the cancer last month. The tumours are close to taking his other eye, and possibly his life.
"We are very worried about him and we need Adrian back as quickly as we can get him to continue and finish his treatment properly," said Dr. Brenda Gallie.
Doctors have waived all their fees throughout the process. And family fundraising is supposed to take care of the rest.
The doctor has sent a letter to the embassy and Venezuelan newspapers have picked up Adrian's cause but no one knows exactly who or what is to blame for the delay.