Eastbourne dad stranded abroad while wife gave birth

A dad-to-be was stranded in America with visa issues has managed to get home to meet his newborn daughter after help from Eastbourne’s MP.

Tuesday, 20th July 2021, 12:31 pm

Ben Jones was stuck in Washington DC last month while his wife Kirsty Hastings-Jones was in Eastbourne just days away from giving birth.

Ben had applied for his visa to get to the UK in March.

Kirsty’s mother Catherine Gilling contacted the office of the MP for Eastbourne Caroline Ansell about the issue.

Left to right: Caroline, Ben Jones, Kirsty Hastings-Jones, Ivy Violet and Catherine Gilling. SUS-210719-172209001

After speaking to the Home Office minister Kevin Foster directly, Mrs Ansell managed to speed up the process and got the visa issued in 48 hours.

On June 17 the visa was given the green light, just as Kirsty was giving birth to Ivy Violet in the early hours.

Ben was on FaceTime during the birth and then got a flight to the UK to be with his daughter and wife. The family are now at home in Meads.

Last weekend (Saturday, July 17), Mrs Ansell met up with the family at Café 32 in South Street to say hello.

Catherine said, “The news that Ben had his visa just after Ivy Violet was born brought more tears of relief. He could book a flight to be with his daughter and hold her.

“Thank you so much to Caroline from the bottom of our hearts for giving that extra push to get the visa processed.

“We are so grateful and we feel it is important for people to see that a member of parliament listens and cares and is there as a voice for people who need help.

“Caroline then took time out of her busy schedule to meet us all. It was delightful and her warmth and caring side clearly shone through. We will always be grateful for her help.”

Mrs Ansell said, “I am really, really pleased I could do my small bit to make sure a dad got to hold his newborn daughter and a family was reunited.

“I have to say that when news came through of the birth of Ivy Violet and the visa, my heart soared because I knew what it meant to this lovely family.

“It’s been a tough year and a half for everyone because of the pandemic but this is a good news story and to be able to meet the family was a real joy.

“A thank you should also go to Kevin Foster, who pulled out the stops, and even took the time to send his congratulations via me to the new parents.”