‘I wanted to give birth on a beach and flew 4,000 miles but I’m stranded here’

A mother-to-be who flew 4,000 miles to across the world to give birth on a beach is “stranded” off the coast fo Grenada with her husband and four-month-old baby. Iuliia Gurzhii, 38, and her husband, Clive, 51, left Tameside, Greater Manchester, and were travelling to Rodney Bay in St Lucia.

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The couple wanted to fulfill Iuliia’s dream of having the most “natural” birth possible on a beach.

However, her waters broke and she gave birth to baby Louisa at sea on April 23 and since then the couple has been struggling to return to the UK. 

What pains them the most is that their eight-year-old daughter Elizabeth in the UK as they couldn’t get her passport renewed.

The couple claimed that they “feel like prisoners” as they have been unable to register her newborn’s birth or apply for a passport.

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They said that initially they were told by a hospital that they couldn’t register her birth because she was more than 24 hours old.

Later, the immigration office said they needed proof the baby was theirs before a passport office said they couldn’t help because the couple had no proof of where Louisa was born.

They now claim the UK High Commission said they needed a DNA test – which they are still waiting to get the results for.

Iuliia, a yoga teacher, said she is having sleepless nights due to the stress of not being able to go home to her daughter, who is being looked after by her auntie, Kristina, 24.

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She said: “It is hurricane season we have storms now – it is traumatising for us all. I can’t stop crying, we are begging for help – we have been abandoned.”

Clive, a sports coach from Tameside, said: “We have been passed around different agencies and nobody will help us. We are running out of money. We will soon run out of food, and nobody is helping us.

“We are essentially stateless – we are more than abandoned. We are prisoners in a country that we are not allowed to leave.”

The couple departed from the UK when Iuliia was 35 weeks pregnant and first travelled to Martinique. They then reached St Lucia by boat and Iuliia gave birth at sea off the coast of Rodney Bay. Louisa was born at 12.40am, weighing 3kg.

As the storm began in St Lucia, the couple had to move the boat to safety and anchored in Grenada on June 20. After reaching Grenada, the couple went to the UK High Commission in St George for help.

They claimed that they were told they would have to do a DNA test to prove that the baby is theirs. The couple hopes that when the DNA test results arrive, they will be allowed to leave with a passport for the baby and return to the UK.

Clive said: “We don’t have enough money for flights. When we came over here, they were £600 each and now they are a few grand. I am £6,000 in debt on the card. We are running out of money.

“We keep being called by the Foreign Office and they ask us if we have an update for them. They should be the ones helping us get out of here.”

An FCDO spokesman said: “We have offered consular support to a British family in St Lucia.”

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