NEW YORK (Nov. 4)
The daughter of former refusenik David Goldfarb has reportedly been told by Soviet authorities to apply for an emergency visa to visit her father in New York who is scheduled to undergo surgery here Wednesday.
Alex Goldfarb, David Goldfarb’s son, told the press that he learned in a telephone call with his sister Olga in Moscow that she had been told she may apply for a visa only for herself and that her request to bring any other member of her family with her had been denied.
The response from Soviet officials followed a letter that David Goldfarb sent Sunday to Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev through Soviet officials in the United States asking that his daughter be permitted to come to New York now as a humanitarian gesture.
David Goldfarb was diagnosed last Wednesday as having lung cancer following a bronchoscopy performed by attending physician Kenneth Prager at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center, where Goldfarb was being evaluated for heart disease and severe complications of diabetes. The finding of cancer was reported unexpected. Prager said that never during Goldfarb’s four-month hospitalization in Moscow had a chest X-ray been taken of him.
Prager said that during a prior hospital stay in Moscow in 1984, an X-ray had revealed “something suspicious,” although Soviet doctors reportedly told Goldfarb not to worry. Alex Goldfarb said he was “puzzled” that his father’s cancer wasn’t diagnosed in the USSR and has requested his father’s X-rays from Moscow with the assistance of the U.S. State Department in the matter.
Prager indicated that surgery will be performed to remove an upper lobe of one lung, which he described as “a dangerous situation.”