Court halts deportation of man with rare Fabry disease

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An Egyptian man with a rare genetic disorder has won a last-ditch attempt to prevent his removal from the UK.

Youssef Mikhaiel, 28, was due to be deported on Monday – but that was postponed after his case was taken to the Court of Session in Edinburgh.

The graduate engineer has Fabry disease, which damages the heart, kidneys and nervous system, and cannot access treatment in his home country.

The Home Office says it still intends to remove him from the UK.

Mr Mikhaiel had been held at Dungavel House detention centre in Lanarkshire for the last two weeks, but was released on bail on Friday afternoon.

A petition for his release had gathered 21,000 signatures within 48 hours.

Mr Mikhaiel told BBC Scotland that he was still anxious because the threat of deportation was still on the table.

“I don’t want anything to affect my family or myself, because I still care about my medication condition, how it will affect my lifespan, my career and my future.

“I hope it gets sorted soon,” he said.

Fabry disease in an inherited condition in which enzymes cannot break down fatty materials known as lipids, allowing them to build up in the body.

The disorder causes symptoms including chronic pain and high temperatures and can shorten a person’s lifespan.

Mr Mikhaiel claims that if he were sent back to Egypt, he would not be able to access a drug called migalastat, which is used in Scotland to treat Fabry disease.