The mother of a Tamil family detained on Christmas Island has been hospitalised in Perth amid concerns about whether she had received adequate medical attention.
Priya and Nades Murugappan and their Australian-born daughters Kopika and Tharunicaa, aged four and three, have spent more than two years in detention fighting their deportation to Sri Lanka after previously living in the rural Queensland town of Biloela.
Family friend Angela Fredericks says Priya was flown to Perth on Saturday night after suffering severe abdominal pain and vomiting for two weeks.
She is receiving treatment at Fiona Stanley Hospital.
“She’s quite overwhelmed at the moment,” Ms Fredericks told AAP on Monday.
“When I spoke to her this morning, she was very groggy. She’d been experiencing quite severe pain overnight again so she was on some strong painkillers.
“The doctors say there’s definite issues with her uterus and bladder but they said that wouldn’t be causing the pain. So they’re still just awaiting the results of the CT scan which was done yesterday.”
Ms Fredericks said the immigration health service on Christmas Island had given Priya painkillers but had not investigated her complaints further.
Priya’s transfer to Perth only came when a doctor at the hospital saw her for a fourth time and refused to discharge her.
“We are actually quite concerned because now that she’s had the CT scan, technically they could actually send her back to Christmas Island,” Ms Fredericks said.
“There has been talk that she could be sent back tomorrow.
‘”We’re incredibly grateful to the doctor on Christmas Island who has stood up for a very vulnerable woman and I really hope that medical staff will continue to do so.”
The family has been embroiled in a marathon legal battle with the Australian government and is awaiting another court date.
A Federal Court judge in April ruled their deportation must remain on hold after determining the youngest daughter had been denied procedural fairness in her bid to apply for a protection visa.
The federal government was also ordered to pay the family more than $200,000 in legal fees.
Groups including the Tamil Refugee Council and National Union of Students will gather outside Fiona Stanley Hospital on Monday to protest the family’s continued detention.
Ms Fredericks said Priya’s hospitalisation in Perth had been particularly distressing for three-year-old Tharunicaa.
“She really doesn’t understand where her Mum is and why she can’t see her,” she said.
“It’s very distressing for all of them.”