Facing visa troubles, Armenian family worries about ill son's future | August 23, 2019 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

News - August 23, 2019

Facing visa troubles, Armenian family worries about ill son's future

Stanford Hospital clinical trial helped boy to move arms, legs again

by Maya Homan

When Svetlana Sargsyan and Tigran Kostanyan welcomed their second child in December 2017, they were overjoyed. Their son Aleksandr was a happy, healthy baby. However, within weeks, Aleksandr became less and less mobile, unable to sit up or move his arms and legs. Sargsyan and Kostanyan took their son to doctor after doctor in their hometown of Yerevan, Armenia, and when he was 52 days old, he received a diagnosis: spinal muscular atrophy Type 1 (SMA).

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Editorial Intern Maya Homan can be emailed at mhoman@paweekly.com.

Comments

19 people like this
Posted by bill1940
a resident of Menlo Park
on Aug 21, 2019 at 1:32 pm

My wife, daughter and I do wish this beautiful family all the best. They certainly merit a change of VISA status that will enable them to work here as well as continue the life-long treatment that is required for their "little treasure" of a son.


16 people like this
Posted by VISA Should Depend On Treatment Options
a resident of Barron Park
on Aug 21, 2019 at 5:24 pm

If the treatment program has been discontinued at Stanford, what difference would it make if they went back to Armenia?

If the treatment program is resumed or some breakthrough is announced, then I could see them being granted an extended VISA.

This immigration issue is getting out of hand.


6 people like this
Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Aug 21, 2019 at 6:29 pm

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

Suggest that you contact your local legislators who have Armenian heritage and are probably well connected in the right places. Anna Eshoo, Jackie Spier (mother), Joe Simitian. The Armenian community is very extensive in the state of CA. There is a consulate in LA - Burbank.


7 people like this
Posted by MAGA
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 22, 2019 at 1:35 am

[Post removed.]


5 people like this
Posted by Mayron
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 22, 2019 at 8:28 am

Tough one...I can see both sides. Program is over. Does the US follow the rules and send them back or make an exception? Also, go fund me account should not be used...this decision should be the US government.


7 people like this
Posted by Advisor
a resident of Esther Clark Park
on Aug 22, 2019 at 5:01 pm

Perhaps they can go to Moscow to get the treatment? Armenia uses to be under Soviet Union ...


8 people like this
Posted by MAGA
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 23, 2019 at 6:47 pm

My post was not offensive. All I said was that they are educated and can contribute to our country. People get click happy when they read "MAGA".


7 people like this
Posted by Tired of Immigration Abuses
a resident of another community
on Aug 24, 2019 at 1:58 am

"Suggest that you contact your local legislators who have Armenian heritage and are probably well connected in the right places."

The parents will not need to go through that much trouble.

Instead, I'd guess they will (ab)use the time-honored immigration loophole called Having An Anchor Baby.

This loophole should have been plugged decades ago.


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