Coronavirus: Dad reunited with family after three months

Coronavirus: Dad reunited with family after three months

Kerem Koseoglu was 2,500 miles away from his daughter Ayla when lockdown was imposed
Image caption Kerem Koseoglu was 2,500 miles away from his daughter Ayla when lockdown was imposed

A Turkish man has had an emotional reunion with his Scottish wife and severely disabled daughter more than three months after they were separated by the lockdown.

Kerem Koseoglu was in Turkey when travel restrictions were imposed in March.

He returned to Scotland two weeks ago but had to spend 14 days quarantined in the family home.

He has now finally been able to hug his daughter and wife.

Kerem normally divides his time between Turkey and Sauchie in Clackmannanshire. But when lockdown struck, he was unable to return to the UK from Turkey.

Quarantine rules

His wife Caroline Johnstone spent lockdown looking after their daughter, eight-year-old Ayla, who has health issues which make her exceptionally vulnerable to Covid-19.

Ayla has Edwards' Syndrome and a weakened immune system. She also suffers from seizures, skeletal issues, gastrointestinal problems and breathing difficulties.

Image caption The moment father and daughter were reunited after three months and a two-week quarantine period

After three months, Kerem managed to fly back to the UK two weeks ago and was one of thousands who had to go straight into quarantine for 14 days, in line with government rules.

On Saturday, husband, wife and daughter were reunited.

Kerem was overjoyed. He said: "It was a great feeling, so nice to have her after such a long time.

"I couldn't get close to her and I was distant with a mask on to say hello for two weeks.

Image copyright Kerem Koseoglu
Image caption Kerem Koseoglu had not been with his daughter Ayla for more than three months

"But she is so happy and I am so happy to see her now and to give her a cuddle.

"It was very strange but obviously because of the situation I have to look after them and Ayla's life is very important. I was patient and I managed two weeks and eventually I get the cuddles and hugs from them. It is a great feeling."

'No checks'

Showing what the living arrangements were for the past two weeks, Kerem's wife Caroline opens the door on one room, with a bed, a makeshift desk and some tea and coffee-making facilities.

She said: "We were basically sanitising everything because you don't know. You can't see the virus. I was running about like a headless chicken, doing all the things I do for Ayla then thinking, oh my goodness I've not fed him yet!"

Image caption Kerem lived in the spare room for two weeks and stayed away from his wife and vulnerable daughter

Kerem was one of thousands of people who have arrived in Scotland since the quarantine was introduced. He flew to Stansted airport, gave his details and told authorities where he was going and travelled north.

But since then he has not heard from the authorities and no-one checked to see if he was following the rules.

He said: "I was expecting a phone call. My phone was not working very well but I didn't hear from anyone."

Caroline saw it as a missed opportunity to ensure no-one was bringing the virus back into Scotland.

She said: "As a society, I think we have got a responsibility to make sure we follow the rules.

"However, I don't know that everyone takes it as seriously as we do. We have a child who has life-limiting conditions so we understand very well what the risks are."

Image caption Caroline Johnstone would like to see checks that people are sticking to the quarantine rules

Caroline is also delighted to have another pair of hands to help with their daughter.

She said: "For four months she has been in a bubble in the house. We have played with all the toys, we have watched all the YouTube videos. It is getting more difficult to entertain her.

"Now the buck stops between us, and that's a good feeling."

And Kerem wants to make sure he will be able to return to Scotland before he goes back to Turkey.

He said: "I am scared to go back now in case there is a lockdown again."

Original Article

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