Chained man freed from mum

By Lucy Bennett

Simon Donaldson was moved to a hospital in Indonesia. Photo / APNZ
Simon Donaldson was moved to a hospital in Indonesia. Photo / APNZ

Family of an intellectually disabled New Zealand man who was chained to a bed at an Indonesian house by his mother are relieved he is being assessed for a trip to New Zealand for treatment.

Simon Donaldson, 26, who was born in Indonesia but is a New Zealand citizen, has leukodystrophy which causes deteriorating motor skills and bouts of dementia.

He has been living with his Indonesian mother in the city of Surabaya but his siblings and father want to send him to New Zealand for better medical care and where he will also be with his older brother Robin, who also has the disease.

Simon's father, Wanganui-born businessman David Donaldson, was awarded sole custody of the couple's five children 20 years ago when he and Simon's mother Yuhanie Marisa Latinia separated.

Simon is deemed to be an overstayer in Indonesia because of his New Zealand citizenship status.

Yuhanie had refused to let her son leave, telling her family he was the victm of black magic and demanded $6 million for his release.

Photographs emerged in April of Simon chained to a bed at his mother's house.

The Donaldson family asked Prime Minister John Key to raise Simon's plight with Indonesian officials while on a trade mission there in April.

Key said Ambassador David Taylor had met two Indonesian ministers to discuss the case.

Donaldson said Simon was moved on Wednesday to Dr Soetomo Hospital in Surabaya, where he would be assessed to see whether he was well enough to be deported.

"We are indeed relieved that he is now going to get medical help for his condition and the end aim here is that in a few months' time he will be fit to travel to New Zealand to continue the treatment at Omahanui with his brother Robin," said Donaldson.

Neither Yuhanie nor her lawyer responded to questions.

- APNZ

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