She was facing Christmas separated from her husband in Sheffield and a wait of up to 18 months for a visa.
But thanks to Action Desk, the biggest challenge facing Texan Mary Lyons-Fletcher was dealing with festive revellers at The Nags Head.
Mary and husband of 25 years, Martin Fletcher, have just enjoyed their first Christmas as landlords of the pub on Westthorpe Road in Killamarsh.
And after a successful few months behind the bar they are investing in the business for 2014.
But it could all have been so different.
Mary approached The Star in desperation after her spousal visa application was thrown out on a technicality.
She was facing a return to the US to re-apply in a process which was set to take months and cost thousands of dollars - until Action Desk sorted it all out.
Mary said: “It’s so great to be here and not having that hanging over us. Without The Star’s help I’d still be in the US waiting.
“Now I’m settled and we can make plans for the future. Thank you.”
Some 400 people signed a petition for Mary to be able to stay.