Skincare queen’s daughter not allowed at funeral
The daughter of one of Queensland's most successful businesswomen is heartbroken that she will miss her mother's funeral on Tuesday due to strict COVID-19 restrictions.
Taryn Graham, who has been isolated in mandatory quarantine on the Gold Coast, is holding onto the last thought of her mother Michelle Doherty, founder of Gold Coast skincare powerhouse Alpha-H, who died on Thursday after a two-year battle with cancer.
Ms Graham, who flew in from New Zealand after it took three weeks with Australian Home Affairs to be allowed into the country, was granted exemption to see her dying mother in hospital before it was too late.
However, despite being granted time to say her final goodbyes to her mother with her family, her application to attend the funeral on Tuesday has been denied.
A Queensland Health spokesperson said "difficult decisions" were made with the safety of Queenslanders in mind.
"If it wasn't my mum's, I wouldn't really care as much but it's mum's funeral and I'm never going to get that back again," Ms Graham said.
"There are no hearts in the people who are making the decision … I tried to come with my kids but they said I wasn't able to come with the kids so I ended up coming by myself.
"All of her family in Christchurch would have loved to come but COVID-19 has just really put a dampener on honouring mum's life."
Ms Doherty was the winner of several awards including Gold Coast Woman in Business of the Year, with Alpha-H cementing its international status last year winning the Manufacturing and Advanced Materials category at the Queensland Export Awards.
Ms Graham has tested negative for COVID-19 but as per Queensland Health guidelines was told her exemption on the basis of compassionate circumstances to attend her mother's funeral had not been granted due to needing to complete the mandatory 14-day quarantine before attending a funeral, wake or service.
"So it's not exceptional circumstances apparently - it's sad because given everything mum has done for Queensland, it just doesn't seem right," she said.
"And then you have the celebrities who can self-isolate … I did all the right things to provide a good case.
"The amount of times I've tried to call and talk to someone about letting me out, there's nothing. There's no compassion or help."
A Queensland Health spokesperson offered their sincere condolences to Ms Graham.
"We are in a pandemic, and our health and border directions are intended to protect everyone's health and prevent serious illness and deaths," they said.
"These are difficult decisions and we want to assure Queenslanders that every exemption application is considered with their safety in mind.
"Hotel quarantine is an essential part of controlling and reducing the spread of new cases throughout our community."
Now Ms Graham fears she will spend her mother's funeral away from her family locked in a hotel room.
"I just was hoping someone would have a heart … I think it would be nice of somebody who was looking at those types of exemptions would try and find a bit more detail just before denying everything, not just give a generic response.
"I just have to keep thinking I was allowed out to say goodbye before she passed."
Originally published as Skincare queen's daughter not allowed at funeral