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‘No one was going to stop me’: Quarantined parents finally meet newborn

Mr Haidar called out Queensland Health for double standards.

“I’m not a footy player, I’m not a cricket player, I’m not a musician – I’m not Dannii Minogue,” he said.

On Wednesday afternoon, Mr Haidar spent the final minutes of quarantine listening to a Spotify playlist of late rapper 2Pac.

“And then it’s [5.39pm] and it’s time to get the f— out of here,” he said. “I put a mask on, opened the door, stepped out … and at that point no one was going to stop me. If anyone tried I was going to ignore them and walk straight past them.

“Literally the whole [ward] just turned to look at us.”

And there was Ilyas, resting in the humidicrib, breathing on his own and about a third of the size of other babies.


“Sarah started crying,” Mr Haidar said. “And the second she put her hands on our son, it just came naturally.”

So fast had Ilyas been whisked away after the birth that Ms Haider had not been able to hold her baby or even look at him because of the curtain blocking her line of sight from the operation.

Mr Haider, meanwhile, had been refused permission to leave hotel quarantine for the birth and was only allowed to join his wife in hospital isolation the following day.

They spent about four hours with Ilyas on Wednesday night “just staring at him, caressing his back. [Sarah] held him on her chest for about two hours”.

They rose before dawn on Thursday and grabbed a coffee before visiting Ilyas again.

“That coffee was our first taste of freedom. That was the point we realised no one was looking at us. It was just us, enjoying a coffee,” Mr Haidar said.

Before Ilyas’ unexpected birth, they had planned to return this week to the Melbourne suburb of Epping, where they have support, a home and a mortgage, and where Mr Haidar has job prospects.

Mr Haidar said they were quoted more than $30,000 for a medical charter flight home.

If they can not raise the money, they will stay in Brisbane until September, living out of Ronald McDonald House, while Ilyas builds his strength.

Friends of the Haidars have begun a GoFundMe campaign to help get them to Melbourne.

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