He may not see another Christmas, and he has not seen his children since last year. Yet, former Ganmain man Mark Keans has had to fight for his dying wish to be honoured amid the global pandemic.
Now residing in Brisbane, the 39-year-old is living with a terminal brain cancer diagnosis and is desperate to see his four Sydney-based children before he dies.
Buckling to the community outrage, Queensland health officials will now allow all his children - who are aged between seven and 13 - to visit their father under strict guidelines.
But now, Mr Keans' father Bruce Langborne told The Daily Advertiser the family faces another hurdle.
After a two week hotel quarantine period, the family will be escorted by security to their father's home and dressed in full PPE.
The children will not be allowed to hug their dad.
"All he's going to see of his kids are these little people in space suits, he won't even be able to give them a hug and we'll be watched the entire time by security," he said.
"We won't get a proper, personal goodbye - it just won't be the same."
Mr Langborne said they were still in negotiations with health officials, but at this stage, they are looking to be able to see Mr Keans on September 19.
"Because of the chemotherapy, he's toxic for a period of time so we can't associate with him," he said.
"He won't be considered non-toxic until the end of the week, so for a short period of time we will be able to see him before his next round of chemo."
Mr Langborne moved to Ganmain in NSW's Riverina "about 30 years ago", before moving to Tumut where he lived for about 20 years and still owns a home.
Since going their separate ways beyond the Riverina, Mr Langborne has not seen his son since June, while his grandchildren will be seeing their father for the first time since 2019.
"The last few days have been very tough on [Mark]," Mr Langborne said.
"He's been very down, in a weakened state, so I think us coming up next week will hopefully push him up a bit.
"We feel very lucky though that his girlfriend of about six months has been absolutely fantastic, she's quit her job to care for him which is a life changing decision."
A friend of the family launched a GoFundMe page to help with costs of hotel quarantine and the future of Mr Keans' children, raising more than $230,000 as of Friday afternoon.
But Mr Langborne said, while grateful, the fundraising has caused his family much grief.
"There's been a lot of hassle regarding the money, people are saying a lot of horrible things when we weren't even the ones who started the fundraiser," he said.
"It's making things a lot harder, especially for my daughter, and Mark is feeling a lot of guilt about it."
Donations include $1000 from Prime Minister Scott Morrison to help pay for mandatory quarantine, predicted to cost the family between $16,000 and $20,000.
Family friend Jamie O'Brien, who set up the fundraiser, has since said the leftover money would go towards helping other families divided by the border lockdown.
Public outrage sparked following Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk's decisions to allow AFL players and celebrities like Tom Hanks into the state while denying personal pleas such as Mr Keans'.
But Mr Langborne said it was not that which hurt the most.
"I can understand that to some degree, I know there is an economic factor to that and those decisions will allow a lot of people in Queensland to be employed, but when I hear about that millionaire Mark Simonds coming in on a super yacht from Melbourne and being fined $1000 but told to enjoy his holiday, that stings," he said.
While the family's battled is far from over, Mr Langborne hopes those in power would learn from the situation.
"The other story about the lady whose son died in Brisbane and she wasn't allowed to attend the funeral, she got a generic email reviewed by a computer," he said.
"These are real people struggling, it's something that needs to be reviewed on a case by case basis, not by a computer with no understanding. It's wrong".
In other news:
President of AMA Queensland Chris Perry addressed the media at a press conference on Sunday, and said the public's anger over a lack of compassion was not a black and white issue.
"The young lady and the issue of funerals certainly touched every bodies' hearts, but I just spoke to a friend of mine in Victoria who could barely get two words out per breath and I don't want anyone else to end up in that state," he said.
"There are a lot of people asking for exemptions in quarantine or different ways of doing quarantine and [The Chief Health Officer] has been very fair with that."
Dr Perry stood to CHO Jeannette Young's defence, saying she'd received "a lot of quite personal attacks".
"All I can say is back off," he said.
"The Chief Health Officer is doing a great job. We would prefer to have fewer funerals than more people at funerals."
Queensland currently has 30 active cases of COVID-19, with zero confirmed new cases as of Sunday.