Quarantine favour ends in heartbreak

 

Queensland man Sean Ter Rahe's decision to quarantine in an Adelaide hotel began as a kind gesture.

Now it means his total time in isolation could stretch to a month - at the same time his family grieves the death of a loved one.

After isolating in the Peppers Waymouth in Adelaide for more than two weeks, the Chinchilla local faces 14 more days in hotel quarantine.

He returned from his fly-in-fly-out work in Mali, West Africa on November 2, his birthday, and had planned to quarantine in Sydney because of limited spots in Queensland.

When approached by his airline to swap with a Sydney local, he saw no reason not to.

Sean Ter Rahe on the balcony of his room at an Adelaide hotel. Picture: Picture Emma Brasier
Sean Ter Rahe on the balcony of his room at an Adelaide hotel. Picture: Picture Emma Brasier

"That was no issue for me, it just made it a lot easier for him, I still had to fly anyway," he said. "Unfortunately that has come back to bite me."

Since the outbreak of a recent Adelaide cluster, believed to have started at his accommodation, all guests have been made to stay another two weeks as a precaution.

Mr Ter Rahe was meant to make it home to Queensland on Tuesday to be with his family as his father-in-law was on life support after falling ill.

"During quarantine my father-in-law was flown from Texas on the Queensland and New South Wales border up to Toowoomba Base Hospital."

"On Tuesday night, while I would have been on the plane going home he was raced into ICU, his heart stopped and basically he was on life support."

His wife Tenelle Ter Rahe's father died on Wednesday morning.

"I'm at a loss, I don't know what to do. My wife is a mess, she had to drive to the hospital and be with her mum," he said.

"As a FIFO worker we're used to missing out on stuff, but I should be there this time to help them and I'm not."

Sean and Tenelle Ter Rahe have been made to grieve the loss of Mrs Ter Rahe's father from different states.
Sean and Tenelle Ter Rahe have been made to grieve the loss of Mrs Ter Rahe's father from different states.

He has also been battling a painful toothache, and has only been offered telehealth appointments while in quarantine, providing medications that offer temporary relief.

"I thought it'd be fine, I'd be able to get it treated when I get back here. I'm not eating, I'm not sleeping," Mr Ter Rahe.

"It's as good as deprivation of liberty, if I had murdered someone in prison I would have seen a dentist by now."

Mr Ter Rahe said he had even planned to return early for a special event.

"I had organised to take my family friend's daughter, she calls me her international father, to her formal in my model T (car) but of course that's not happening."

"It's just a ridiculous situation, we've been in our rooms, we've followed the rules."

Originally published as Quarantine favour ends in heartbreak


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