The birth of a first child usually brings happiness to new parents, but for a woman from Victoria who has been diagnosed with the Zika virus, it’s a time of worry instead.
In recent years, Eloise Patmore has often traveled to Jamaica. Her employer allows her to work remotely, so she often travels to this country to be with her Jamaican fiancée.
After returning to Victoria in December, and having been pregnant for a few months, Patmore decided to have a blood test done as a precaution. In January, she was told that she has contracted the Zika virus.
“We didn’t even know where to start,” she said. “Even our doctor did not know what to tell us, because it’s unique in British Columbia. She also did not know what the repercussions of having Zika during my pregnancy would be.”
Besides suffering from the virus, Ms. Patmore may have to give birth alone, since Canada’s immigration ministry, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, has refused to grant a visa to her fiancée, Charles Frost. According to her, among the reasons the ministry provided is that Mr. Frost does not own real estate that would motivate him to return to Jamaica, as well as precedents set by other Jamaican visitors, including students.
“Another reason they gave us was that, in Jamaican culture, it’s not normal for a man to want to be present at the birth of own children,” Patmore said. “They did not find it credible that Charles wanted to come to Canada to be here for the birth of his daughter.”