Tharnicaa Murugappan marks fourth birthday at PCH under Border Force guard, separated from family
Asylum seeker Tharnicaa Marugappan today celebrated her fourth birthday in hospital with Border Force officials outside her door, separated from her dad and older sister who remain in detention on Christmas Island.
As Tharnicaa is recovering in Perth Children’s Hospital from a blood infection caused by untreated pneumonia, her father Nades and big sister Kopika have celebrated her birthday for her.
Creating a video message, the dad and daughter wish her a happy birthday from the detention centre on Christmas Island.
“Happy Birthday Tharnicaa. I miss you, I love you,” the pair said in unison, blowing several kisses to the camera.
The pair also made a cake to celebrate Tharnicaa’s special day — decorated with purple fondant, chocolate and candles, reading “Happy Birthday Tharnicaa”.
Stars Miranda Tapsell, Dan Sultan and Justine Clarke united to sing Tharnicaa her favourite song — Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.
Family friend Angela Fredericks said she is sad to be away from Tharnicaa for yet another birthday.
“It’s no fun to be in hospital for your birthday, especially when you’re just four-years-old,” she said.
“But knowing that little Tharni is spending her fourth birthday detained in hospital, under guard, and separated from her big sister and dad just breaks my heart.
“Tharni should be running around Lions Park in Bilo today, enjoying a big birthday cake while her mum and dad watch on.”
The hospital stay is the longest the family has been separated, and mother Priya said it is causing her youngest daughter a lot of distress as she doesn’t understand it is only temporary.
A vigil for Tharnicaa will be held tomorrow at PCH.
On Friday the petition to bring the family home to Biloela passed half a million signatures — making it one of the top ten Australian petitions in the history of Change.org.
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