A RELIEVED former Dispatch district woman has spoken publicly for the first time after friends rescued her from the United States after she was left stranded thousands of miles away without a penny to her name.
Tracey Newcombe (42) says a whirlwind romance disintegrated into a ‘nightmare’ as she was left trapped in New York.
But thankfully, she is now back in Nottinghamshire after her friends came to her aid and launched a fundraising campaign, previously highlighted by the Dispatch, to buy her a plane ticket and put an end to her ordeal.
Tracey, who is a native of Bulwell, met her 57-year-old husband through the Internet and she joined him in Albany, New York State, in the hope of of settling there and starting a new life.
The couple were married in January 2007 and they were living with her husband’s parents. But the marriage quickly started to go downhill and although Tracey tried to make the best of things, the relationship got steadily worse.
It reached the stage when Tracey was at the end of her tether and she decided that she wanted to return home.
But not only was she penniless at this stage but she did not have a Green Card, which would have allowed her to stay in the United States.
She had to go into hiding at a friend’s house in the Albany area.
She managed to get in touch with a close pal, Dawn Durham (48), of Mosswood Crescent, Bestwood Park Estate, who launched a campaign in an attempt to get her back to Bulwell.
Dawn got in touch with the Dispatch to appeal for help to raise a minimum of £500 to buy an all-important airline ticket for Tracey. Her efforts were supported by Bulwell’s Labour MP, Graham Allen.
The British Consulate in New York State said it could not help because it does not pay for flights in such cases as Tracey’s.
The appeal proved a success, thanks largely to a generous donation from another friend, Tracey Hallam (45), with whom she is currently staying in Clifton.
Tracey’s parents both live in Bulwell — her father, Kenneth Newcombe, on Repton Road, and her mother, Sandra Sheppard, on Newmarket Road.
Although they tried to get her back home two years ago, Tracey said the circumstances were not right for her return at that stage.
Tracey, who has a son in his twenties and a newborn grandchild, said: “I cannot describe how relieved I was when my plane touched down at Manchester Airport. I shared a lot of tears with people there to greet me.”
She is now trying to rebuild her life and get to grips with problems of readjustment. She suffers from an under-active thyroid gland and also now has vertigo, which has probably developed as a result of her ordeal.
She is now trying to divorce her husband but has been unable to obtain legal aid because the marriage took place overseas.
She said: “I believe in marriage but mine is an example of one which went disastrously wrong.”
Mr Allen said he was delighted to hear that Tracey was now back in England. He added: “My office got involved and we did all we could to help.”