Dad who left partner for Ukrainian refugee becomes full-time carer after she goes partially blind

6 July 2022, 00:22

Tony Garnet with Sofiia Karkadym.
Tony Garnet with Sofiia Karkadym. Picture: Instagram/@sonya_dobrvlsk

By Emma Soteriou

A British dad who left his partner for a Ukrainian refugee has become a full-time carer for her after she went partially blind.

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Tony Garnett fiercely defended his new partner, 22-year-old Sofiia Karkadym, saying "she's no homewrecker" and that leaving his former partner was the "right thing to do".

The 29-year-old said Ms Karkadym had been unfairly accused of breaking up his relationship when they had fallen in love.

He explained that a "weight has been lifted off our shoulders" since the pair moved out of the home he shared with his previous partner, Lorna, and into a rented house in Bradford.

However, the new couple are under added financial pressure after she had an eye operation, with the council saying further changes were needed to their home before they could claim support under the Homes for Ukrainians scheme.

Read more: 'I'm not a monster': Dad who ran off with Ukrainian refugee says he can't see his children

Read more: Ukrainian refugee whose partner dumped wife to be with her says she 'didn't steal him'

Dad who ran off with Ukrainian refugee says they are doing "brilliantly".
Dad who ran off with Ukrainian refugee says they are doing "brilliantly". Picture: Instagram/@sonya_dobrvlsk

Mr Garnett told that he had given up shift work to look after Ms Karkadym who is partially blind in her right eye, adding that he regards himself as her full-time carer.

"People are painting her as a villain who has come to the UK and stolen a British man," he said.

"Nothing could be further from the truth. It was a mutual decision.

"It wasn't as if we had met each other and decided then and there to move out. I was leaving regardless, because I’d had enough of Lorna, who took against Sofiia straight away.

"There was a lot of drama and a lot of stress when we lived with Lorna.

"Whenever I came home it was difficult for Sofiia and me to be around her at a time when we should have been helping a refugee make a new life here.

"I just wanted to take Sofiia away and look after her, I wanted to help someone who was fleeing from Ukraine.

"She's not a homewrecker.

"I left to help her, and what happened after has happened, but it takes two to tango. She is being called a homewrecker on social media while I am having messages saying congratulations."