A 92-YEAR-OLD Poole woman is no longer being deported to South Africa on Tuesday

Myrtle Cothill has been given a 'stay of execution' while more evidence is considered, it has been reported. 

Following a medical assessment carried out this afternoon, the Home Office have cancelled a removal direction that was due to be enforced.

The widow was due to be deported to South Africa where she says she has no close family.

The medical assessment suggested she is not well enough to cope in South Africa living alone as she has a heart condition, has failing eyesight and hearing and struggles to walk due to bad knees.

While the report is being reviewed the deportation order is being suspended, which means Mrs Cothill can remain in Britain.

Mrs Cothill said from the home she lives in with daughter Mary Wills in Poole, Dorset, that she is delighted by the news.

Overcome with emotion and tears she said: "I don't believe it, what a relief! 

"All the stress and pressure that was on my has been lifted. I'm going to have a glass of wine to celebrate. 

"I have always felt more for the British way of life, I feel more British than South African. If I was deported I think I would have collapsed before I got to the airport.

Mrs Wills said: "This is really exciting news. We were dreading Tuesday and we didn't know what was going to happen to mum. 

"But now it feels like it is over and she can stay - at least for the time being. All our work and efforts to fight to keep mum in Britain has been worth it."

Mrs Cothill's solicitor Jan Doerfel said: "This message from the Home Office means that Myrtle will no longer be required to report to an immigration office at Heathrow Airport on Tuesday.

"This gives us more time to submit fresh evidence for the Home Office to reconsider their initial refusal decision.

"We are extremely delighted at and grateful for the public support for Myrtle and her daughter Mary which has highlighted their plight. 

"One could call this a stay of execution but we obviously hope that a reconsideration by the Home Office will lead to Myrtle being granted the right to stay in the UK."

The news came as 74,000 people signed an online petition calling for the government to allow her to remain in the UK.

Mrs Cothill was born in South Africa in 1924 when the country was part of the British Empire.

Her father, James Francis Wilson, served for the Allies in the First World War in France and was wounded and taken back to Plymouth to recover.

Her brother, Edward Wilson, also fought for the Allies in the Royal South African Infantry World War Two in Egypt and Italy.

Mrs Cothill's husband died more than 40 years ago and she has no living relatives in South Africa who could look after her. 

She survived on her own with support from her friends and local church, but as her community began to pass away and her health deteriorated, she realised she needed to be looked after by her daughter in the UK.

Mrs Wills is a retired carer who has lived in the UK since 1997 and is a British citizen and is married to a Brit.

Her mother arrived in 2014 on a six-month visitor visa and as her health rapidly deteriorated they applied for her to stay.

Mrs Cothill, who was born under the British flag in 1923, has heart problems, COPD and a loss of sight in one eye, and no family or property to return to in Africa.

Her family say she can afford private healthcare in the UK, but not in South Africa, and will not be a burden on the state.

The Home Office has said her application was rejected as her condition was not deemed life-threatening, with suitable medical treatment available in her country of origin.