Fate took a drastic turn for a young migrant couple living in New Zealand when the wife of a migrant worker got hospitalised due to a terminal illness and husband left work to be by her side during the last days of his sick partner.

A 31-year-old woman temporary migrant worker from India, Manwinder Kaur died in Auckland last week ending her four months trial with blood cancer.

Community mourned the loss of a young life to Leukaemia, who worked as a healthcare professional in an Auckland company. Manwinder was diagnosed with the illness earlier in April this year and spent her last days in Auckland Hospital with her husband, Gagandeep Singh by her side.

Manwinder hailed from Kotkapura district of Punjab, India and got married to Gagandeep in 2015. She was on Essential Skills Work Visa in New Zealand and the couple visited by their in-laws earlier in 2019.

Being the only family member to his sick wife here in Auckland, Gagandeep left work supporting her with hospital visits, medications and taking care of Manwinder.

Adding to the stress of being the sole breadwinner out of work amid Covid-19 pandemic, Gagandeep applied for visa exemption of her family members in India earlier in April to visit their loved one, but Immigration New Zealand declined the application.

Manwinder lost the battle to her illness on Tuesday, August 11 at Auckland Hospital last week. Husband had Gagandeep applied for a short-term visa exemption for her family members from India to attend the funeral but said he did not receive any response from Immigration New Zealand.

Gagandeep, having been out of work for months since he was taking care of his wife, reached out to the High Commission of India to help cover some funeral costs.

Gagandeep conducted his wife Manwinder’s funeral on Friday, August 14 at Ann’ Funeral in South Auckland in the presence of friends and community members which was limited to ten due to Alert Level 3 in Auckland.

A prayer ceremony was held at Sri Guru Nanak Dev Sikh Sangat Gurdwara in Otahuhu for the peace of the departed soul earlier on Monday, August 17.

(Pictures supplied by Harjinder Basiala, Punjabi Herald)