PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten – St. Maarten highest vote-getter and now suspended Member of Parliament Theo Heyliger is blocked from leaving the country to get treatment for his stage one kidney cancer. His wife Grisha Heyliger-Marten sees this as a crystal-clear move by the Dutch colonial authorities to murder her husband – slowly and painful.
“His stage one cancer tumour and other aggravated health are tagged to extreme stress with his preexisting condition added to the mix. The stress is the factor and the pressure and blockage from medical treatment are the Dutch’s weapons to murder Theo,” said Heyliger-Marten.
Heyliger has lost weight more than 30 pounds since his entire ordeal started in February.
Heyliger was released from custody in May, but had to surrender his passport to the Prosecutor’s Office and put up liquid cash as a guarantee. These were terms of his release and both and others were complied with.
His wife, in a plea for true justice, said her husband needs to travel to the United States for cancer treatment. This cannot happen without his passport. The Prosecutor’s Office has refused to release his passport. They have cancelled his ESTA necessitating him to apply for a US (medical) visa. The application cannot happen without his passport to enable him to travel to Curacao to complete the application.
The Dutch wants Heyliger explain why he has to go for a month to Boston. “This is simply ridiculous. They have all the medical documents and the prove of the tumor in his right kidney. They are just continuing to torture him. An act for which they were recently have been sentenced for by the European Court for Human Rights,” Heyliger-Marten said.
The Heyligers were booked to travel to the Boston this weekend on tickets they bought two weeks ago. Ever since their attorney has worked to get Heyliger’s passport released by the Prosecutor’s Office to no avail.
Heyliger-Marten said she checked on her husband’s ESTA in the meantime and found it was cancelled.
“I was prompted to double check Theo’s ESTA that was approved earlier in the year, prior to his detainment, and I was shocked to see that it was declined. So, we tried to get to the American Embassy in Curacao to get him a medical visa. Now the prosecutor is saying, since he cannot go to the US, they won’t release the passport,” she said.
Tickets cancelled; it is back to the drawing board to find another location for Heyliger to see a cancer specialist. “They don’t want to give him his passport to fixed the issue. They will only give it to him if he finds another location other than the US,” said Heyliger-Marten, who is grappling to understand why the Dutch are so vehement against her husband going to the United States.
“Theo’s health and safety has been my number concern from day one. He fell ill later last year and I forced him to do a general checkup. Late in November 2018, it was concluded that he had polyps in his colon, a sort of blockage in his colon and a kidney stone in his right kidney,” Heyliger-Marten said.
His detention as of February 19 and his later kidnapped to Bonaire on March 1 put additional stress on him, said his wife. “We were able to visit Theo in Bonaire on March 11 and, of course, the first thing I noticed was ow frail he looked, again my concern was his health. His declining health was linked to the incorrect low dose gout medication they gave him in Bonaire. The meds were not strong enough and left his system to get weaker and weaker,” she said.
Heyliger was returned to St. Maarten and put in the medical ward of the Pointe Blanche Prison a month after his transfer to Bonaire. Then after another month back and forth, he was able to see a urologist at SMMC. The urologist re-ran tests conducted in November.
The doctor determined that the kidney stone had doubled in size. He later noticed a lesion on the right kidney. The focus was to first get rid of the kidney stone. A week after the operation, the doctor instructed that Heyliger be transferred to the French side for an MRI. The conclusion from that was the lesion is a three centimetre malignant tumor, in other words stage one cancer.
“That tumor was never there in November. It came this year and it got there through stress.
Because his tumor is right in the middle of his right kidney, the doctor suggested to do a special procedure that cannot be performed in SXM nor Colombia. He suggested either Holland or the US. Of course, given his situation with the Dutch government, we automatically chose to go the US,” said Heyliger-Marten. That option is now squashed without the release of this passport.