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Continued: Duluth hospital: State Dept. rejected visa extension for comatose student

  • Article by: JENNA ROSS , Star Tribune
  • Last update: February 13, 2014 - 11:11 AM

“St. Mary’s Medical Center has been working with the State Department, which is making arrangements for Mr. Bajwa’s medical transport home,” she said. “This is an unfortunate situation and his caregivers are working closely with Mr. Bajwa’s family to ensure the smoothest transition possible.”

She declined to answer other questions Wednesday: “There’s very little I can say simply because of patient privacy rights.”

The State Department did not return requests for comment Wednesday. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said in a statement that the agency has “no role in a health care provider’s private transfer of a patient to his or her own country of origin.”

In his few months at Wisconsin-Superior — right across the border from Duluth — Shahzaib Bajwa had become a kind of cultural ambassador on campus, his brother said. He had been scheduled to speak at a gender equity club event in late November “about the role of women in Pakistan and his own experiences in the Pakistani feminist movement,” an online post says.

On his Facebook page, he posted photos and thoughts on trips to Las Vegas, the Grand Canyon and Lake Superior’s North Shore.

His mother, Tanzeela Bajwa, arrived in Duluth two weeks after the accident and has been praying at his side since.

Shahraiz Bajwa has worried about her since his father’s death in 2005. Having Muhammad in the hospital has been “very hard,” he said. “I’m a young person, a man. I can deal with it. She’s emotionally very attached to my brother.

“If something were to happen to her …” he added, trailing off.


Jenna Ross • 612-673-7168

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