Ten years ago she was living a first-class lifestyle in New York's upper east side. Now a Kiwi mother-of-two is trapped in a cockroach-infested homeless shelter while she fights a custody battle.
Kellie Hendry, 39, fled an abusive relationship two years ago and is desperate to return to New Zealand. But a United States court won't let her children, Lili, 7, and Cameron, 5, leave the country until the dispute is resolved. Lili was born in Christchurch.
In a bizarre legal quirk, US authorities have designated Ms Hendry an illegal immigrant and barred her from working. And she has been left frustrated because an application to Work and Income New Zealand for the International Custody Disputes Benefit was declined - because she doesn't have a valid US visa.