After a doctor's estimate that she only has a month or two left to live, 18-year-old Qirat Chapra decided she no longer had time to waste.
Through an online petition posted at the White House's We the People petitioning system, Chapra is asking the Obama administration to fulfill her dying wish to allow her parents in Pakistan to come to America to visit her before she passes.
The petition requests the administration to issue emergency medical B-2 visitor visas to Chapra's parents.
"My last wish [is] to see them," Chapra said in a video posted to Facebook by her aunt, Hira Jethwa, earlier this month. "I don't want to leave this world without seeing them. It's been all my life and I don't know how long I'm going to stand.”
Chapra was born in the United States and granted a visa by birth, according to her parents in an interview with Houston Public Media. Chapra’s mother Naila was visiting the U.S. in the late '80s when complications during her pregnancy forced her to stay until Qirat’s birth. Both mother and daughter eventually returned to Pakistan, but when Qirat’s health worsened due to an autoimmune disease, she came back to the U.S. to live with an aunt in order to receive medical treatment at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital.
Qirat Chapra never returned to Pakistan. In the U.S., she has reportedly undergone treatment for T-cell lymphoma, chronic lung disease, and pneumonia.
In her video plea, Chapra says she’s been a patient all her life in Houston, living without her two parents and her two little brothers. But visa requests for them to visit her have been denied multiple times.
Qirat’s father, Idrees, told The Express Tribune that because Qirat gained U.S. citizenship by birthright, it may be affecting how subsequent visa requests from the family are viewed.
In an email to NBC News, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services spokesperson Jim McKinney said he was familiar with the Chapras' story, but was not able to speak about individual cases.
As of Monday afternoon, the White House petition had more than 24,000 signatures, but needs 100,000 signatures in order to get a response from the White House.
“I’m in very serious and very critical condition right now,” Chapra said in the Facebook video. "I’m only surviving because all these prayers and all this belief …that my parents will come and hug me. [The petition] is my only hope to see my parents and two little brothers.”