Archie’s mum Jessica Fitzjohn is escorted by airport officials. WAM
Jessica Fitzjohn travelled to the UK more than 50 days ago to attend the funeral of her father but was unable to return because of travel restrictions related to the coronavirus outbreak. Her son, Archie Appleyard, and husband, Richard, live in Ras Al Khaimah and the situation prompted Archie, a seven-year-old pupil at RAK Academy, to send a hand-written letter and drawing to Sheikh Saud explaining their predicament and asking for his help.
In the note, Archie recalled meeting Sheikh Saud with his classmates last year and said he remembered him as a "very kind, helpful sheikh." Sheikh Saud personally responded to Archie and said he recalled meeting him. "Dear Archie," wrote Sheikh Saud. "Thank you for your letter, I enjoyed reading it. I remember meeting you and having a great day with you and your classmates." "I understand you miss your mommy very much and I am very proud of you for being a brave boy," he wrote. "I hope bringing her home will make you smile." Under the guidance of Sheikh Saud and in cooperation with Government entities, Jessica arrived in the UAE in the early hours of Wednesday. All medical protocols were followed and she will enter a 14-day quarantine.
The family, who are from the UK, said they were overjoyed to be together again, and they thanked the UAE Government. "I am so happy to have my mommy back," said Archie. "I can’t believe that this has happened and thank you so much to Sheikh Saud." Jessica expressed her gratitude to Sheikh Saud for facilitating her safe return. "I can’t thank the Ruler enough for his kindness in organizing my return," she said.
"I will be so ever grateful for this moment. Thank you very much to everyone involved." Archie’s father, Richard, said everyone was overjoyed to be together again. "We are absolutely overwhelmed to have received a handwritten letter from His Highness. We are forever thankful."
Archie’s letter to Sheikh Saud was accompanied by a drawing titled "the day my mummy comes back home to me" showing him and his father waiting as the plane carrying his mother arrived in the UAE. "It has been 52 sleeps now that I have been apart from my mummy," wrote Archie. "I feel so sad because I have never been apart for this long and all I dream and wish for is my mummy’s return and our family to be back together in Al Hamra Village."
The RAK government is planning to pave the way for the family to be reunited.
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