Grieving Cairns mum pleas for permission to travel to US to attend 20yo son’s funeral

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April 25, 2020 06:28:48

Australians will spend at the moment commemorating fallen troopers, however one Queensland household says COVID-19 journey restrictions have made it unimaginable to grieve their 20-year-old son, who died abruptly after a navy coaching train in the US final week.

Leonid “Leon” Ciuffoli was a 12 months into his profession with the US Military and seemingly wholesome when he died in Washington DC on April 12.

His mom, stepfather and two siblings stay stranded in Australia, unable to pay their respects.

“It’s mainly a horror film inside a horror film,” mom Elizaveta Sergeev-Ciuffioli mentioned.

“We would have liked to be there for our boy and see him one final time — we do not really feel like we will totally grieve correctly right here.”

The household is desperately attempting to safe Federal Authorities approval to fly to the US regardless of a strict ban on abroad journey because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Since receiving the tragic information, Ms Sergeev-Ciuffioli has been looking for solutions about how her son handed away.

“All we all know is there was an undiagnosed coronary heart situation, however we do not know what occurred,” she mentioned.

“He was progressing by means of the Military and was coaching for one thing known as a ‘ranger badge’, which is lots of bodily exercise.

“He got here in after a coaching session and whereas he was preparing in his residence, one thing occurred.”

Journey exemption allowed on compassionate grounds

The family-of-three is now in Sydney and have renewed their passports and obtained US approval to enter the nation.

“Now we’d like permission to depart Australia and we will not even consider reserving flights till we now have that,” Ms Sergeev-Ciuffioli mentioned.

Underneath Australian journey legal guidelines introduced late March, residents can apply to the Division of House Affairs for an abroad journey allow on compassionate or humanitarian grounds, which can embody the demise of members of the family.

Federal Member for Leichardt Warren Entsch mentioned he was assured the household’s journey request could be accepted.

“We moved as shortly as we may,” Mr Entsch mentioned.

“As of [Thursday] afternoon we have had [Ms Sergeev-Ciuffioli’s] passport renewed [and] we have got passports for each the youngsters to journey.

“As of late [Thursday] afternoon we put in a request to provide her an exemption to journey to the US underneath particular circumstances.

“Every part is lined up now so we’re hoping she’ll be free to journey.”

‘An Australian by means of and thru’

A funeral for Leon is deliberate in California, the place his spouse and one-year-old son stay.

However Ms Sergeev-Ciuffioli mentioned her son spent most of his life in Cairns, the place he was often called a joker and a people-person who was “wiser than his age”.

“He’s an Australian through-and-through — he calls everybody mate,” his mom mentioned.

“His love was boxing — this was the theme of his life, he simply completely cherished it — that was his largest ardour however there have been so many different issues.”

Streets Motion Organisation chief government officer Jesse Martin met Leon by means of the Cairns boxing group throughout his teenage years and mentioned his demise was a tragic loss.

“He was only a good man and nice man and it is very unhappy,” Mr Martin mentioned.

“He was very a lot within the prime of his life and to have that taken away is heartbreaking.”

‘It has been hell’

His 22-year-old brother, Anton Ciuffioli, mentioned the tragedy had been troublesome to understand.

“It has been hell — all this simply does not really feel actual — we have simply been attempting to get to the States to be with him and say our ultimate goodbyes,” he mentioned.

Whereas it appears doubtless the household’s journey software might be accepted by the Australian Authorities, the following problem might be securing a aircraft ticket, with restricted worldwide flights.

“There’s simply a lot uncertainty — we actually do not know what’s going to occur,” Ms Sergeev-Ciuffioli mentioned.

She mentioned she discovered some consolation in realizing her household was not alone of their grief, as hundreds of troopers are commemorated on Anzac Day.

‘Unthinkable tragedy’

US Military Lieutenant Colonel Allen Kehoe prolonged his deep condolences to Leon’s household in a letter, saying his demise was an “unthinkable tragedy”.

“Phrases can’t describe the disappointment that I and so lots of his teammates really feel for his loss,” the letter reads.

“As , your son was a necessary asset to my battalion.

“Leonid’s laborious work and dedication to the memorial affairs mission had been above reproach, even most just lately in the course of the COVID-19 surroundings.”

Lieutenant Colonel Kehoe mentioned a memorial for Leon could be held sooner or later.

















First posted

April 25, 2020 05:57:42

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