Whānau look forward to birthday celebrations with Vicki Letele

By Mānia Clarke-Mamanu

It's been reported the Parole Board has announced that cancer sufferer Vicki Letele is set to be released from the Auckland Region Women's Corrections Facility, so she can spend her last days with her family.

Vicki's brother Dave Letele says they hope she will be home in time for her birthday next week. 

The Letele family say they hope to have Vicki home soon.

Vicki Letele’s older brother David says, “Hopefully we should have an answer today or tomorrow.  It's her birthday on Monday, it probably could be her last birthday.  So we really want her to be home to enjoy that with her family.”

Several weeks ago, a request by Ms Letele's family and her medical team to the Parole Board to release her early was denied.  Yesterday, Corrections CEO Ray Smith recommended that the Parole Board consider releasing her on compassionate grounds.

“Finally some common sense has prevailed.  And it is about compassion. Prison is about rehabilitation, there's not much point now when she only has four months left to live.”

In September, Vicky was diagnosed with terminal cancer while serving a three year and two months sentence for fraud. Today she had her first round of intense chemotherapy infusion at Auckland Hospital.

“She's been hooked up to that for eight hours.  She's feeling very, very tired. And umm, her immune system is gonna be run down, so it's really important that we get her home.”

Aka Brown Buttabean a motivational trainer and boxer, acknowledges the following of support and hopes this doesn't happen to others.

“We were able to attract media, cause you know, who knows what could have happened if we didn't have all that.  This shouldn't happen in New Zealand.  You should be able to receive the care you need to get when you need it.”

Buttabean says diets will be out the window when his sister returns home, as they celebrate her birthday with a big feast.