MIQ: family beg for help to save daughter‘s arm

The Peden family have an agonising wait for an MIQ decision after 9-year-old Abigail shattered her arm in a fall. Photo: Dan Peden.

Abigail Peden lies on a couch in Papua New Guinea moaning with pain as her father tries hard to keep it together.

But all Dan Peden has been able to do is wait and watch his nine-year-old daughter suffer for almost four days and hope she will be treated before the shattered bones around her elbow, caused by a fall, create a lifelong injury.

The Peden family, originally from Rotorua, are in Papua New Guinea as missionaries.

Unable to get the surgery Abigail requires in the lesser developed Pacific nation, they desperately applied for an emergency managed isolation and quarantine (MIQ) exemption to fly her home to New Zealand, and are now waiting for a decision to be made.

A doctor’s report seen by Stuff from the New Tribes Medical Centre in Goroka states Abigail's young age means her condition is urgent, and she will need a paediatric orthopaedic surgeon in New Zealand to operate.

The next commercial flight out of Papua New Guinea to New Zealand leaves on Sunday, but Peden believes that will be too late.

He fears loose bone fragments will press on nerves and cause irreparable damage and has appealed to MPs and the prime minister to intervene.

“If anyone knows Jacinda Ardern's number could you please call her and ask to show us some kindness.”

Prepared to charter a private flight to get to New Zealand, Peden just wants a quick response from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, rather than waiting in the queue.

The family have been working alongside their private insurance company to find solutions and have been reassured if an MIQ spot opens up the company will help find a way to get them back.

Their predicament has also been exacerbated because they have not yet been vaccinated for Covid-19 after Peden, his wife Katie, and their four children, including Abigail, caught the virus last year.

Peden says they had intended to get the vaccination before they returned to New Zealand, but it has not been a priority until now.

The saga started when Abigail fell after climbing a fence on Tuesday and was in immediate pain. When Peden inspected her right arm he saw bumps over her elbow, and it looked grossly deformed.

After ringing Dr Earle Morton, Peden splinted Abigail’s arm and tried to keep her comfortable overnight until the pair could take the 75-minute flight from Wewak to Goroka.

Overnight it became clear that Abigail’s condition was serious, as her arm swelled dramatically.

X-rays confirmed she needed surgery in New Zealand as soon as possible to ensure she retained full function of her arm.

Katie Peden and their other children then flew to Goroka before the entire family took the 90-minute flight to Port Moresby.

They had hoped to get Abigail on the only flight that could get them to New Zealand on Wednesday, but quickly realised the MIQ system did not work that fast.

Abigail is in a lot of pain but unable to get to New Zealand for urgent surgery.

Now the bubbly intelligent young girl who loves writing and drawing lies limp and struggling with pain and her dad feels powerless to give her the help that she needs.

Every hour has become a lifetime.

“If I start talking about it, I’ll probably cry,” Dan Peden says.

MBIE has been contacted for comment.

-Stuff/Nadine Porter.

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Posted on 24-01-2022 13:18 | By morepork

While I respect your right to an opinion and voicing it, I was appalled at your total lack of compassion. This is not bad parenting; it is something that could happen to any kid. And whether they were on missionary work or just on holiday, has no bearing on it. If something CAN be done to help this little girl, then it SHOULD be done. Simple; we should do what is right and not make excuses for NOT doing it.


Posted on 23-01-2022 13:46 | By Slim Shady

It’s not just this little girl. There are thousands of people in dire situations who are forced to play lotto for months on end. Meanwhile, we give hundreds of rooms to celebrities, DJs and sports teams. We have the world leading Dutch cricket team in next. Disgraceful.

parenting skills...

Posted on 23-01-2022 02:15 | By hexsayer

sooo because a couple of missionaries wanted to take their 9 year old daughter to Papua New Guinea, you mean that 3rd world nation thats mainly tropical rainforest and a whole lot of not much filled with mosquitos, snakes oh the only venomous bird in the world, where kuri the brain-eating prion basically originated, and the kid got hurt? why did the parents endanger their kid? why should we do something, parents shouldve had savings for such a forseeable situation.

So Jacinda

Posted on 22-01-2022 17:48 | By Yadick

What if this was Neve? Would you let her suffer? Would you leave her with an injury that was potentially life long and debilitating? Would you sit back and watch her suffer? Would you watch the people of your country suffer like this little girl and her parents are? This is ABSOLUTELY APPALLING Jacinda. Where is your heart? Where is your leadership?


Posted on 22-01-2022 13:22 | By morepork

...wants to see a child enduring this. There should be at least a few MIQ rooms held for exactly this kind of situation. I wonder what would happen if this were Jacinda’s daughter...


Posted on 21-01-2022 12:23 | By dumbkof2

so called singers and dancers have much higher priority for miq than places for saving lives and urgent medical cases

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