A high-flying NASA engineer who cares for his sick wife say he has been told he can’t stay in the UK – because she isn’t ill enough.
Robert Martin, a mechanical genius who worked on the Orion Mars mission, has been married to Brit Kerry for two years but he still doesn’t have the right to live in the UK.
US-born Rob, 52, lives with wife Kerry, 53, in Andover, Hants, where she says she needs full-time care due to her fibromyalgia – a condition which causes pain all over her body.
The couple have so far spent £10,000 of their savings in legal fees attempting to fight the Home Office decision to deport him next week.
She said: “the decisions has blown our lives apart” and left her feeling suicidal.
The couple have had several attempts to keep Rob in the country turned down by the home office and now he has been told he must leave by next Monday November 19.
Kerry said: ”“He’s the one that gets me out of bed in the morning, he helps me wash, he helps me dress – he does all the cooking and the laundry – I can’t cope alone.
”He’s got to go back to the states with no car, no money and no job.”
The couple met in 2014 while Kerry was in the States visiting a friend in Virginia.
“It was love at first sight,” she said.
Rob is a mechanical Designer who worked on various projects at the NASA research base at Langley in Virginia in the US.
He worked on the cooling system for the cutting-edge Orion spaceshsip which is being designed to take astronauts to Mars.
After several visits and two years of talking via Skype, Rob surprised her with a marriage proposal while she was visiting in December 2016.
A delighted Kerry said yes, but disaster struck just three weeks later when Kerry’s mother died unexpectedly.
Kerry said: “Rob came back to the UK to help me. I couldn’t cope, my mental health was a mess.”
She explained the stress caused her fibromyalgia to flair up, and combined with her poor mental health she was left entirely dependent on Rob to care for her.
The couple said they applied for Rob to stay in the UK so he could care for Kerry.
But after approximately four months of waiting they said the Home Office sent them a response that appeared to be for someone else’s application.
Kerry explained; ““They said Rob had applied over a year ago and they were denying his application because he’d tried to apply ‘multiple times’.
”They were clearly replying to the wrong person or just copy-and-pasting a reply without double-checking what they were doing.
“Our lawyer sent them a letter saying it wasn’t us. But as far as I’m aware they haven’t heard anything back.”
As a final desperate measure, the couple applied for a spousal on the basis that rob Rob was Kerry’s carer.
But the Home Office denied, it saying her illness was not “life threatening” and that the NHS could look after her instead.
Rob was devastated to learn that he would have to leave Kerry and the UK by next Monday (Nov 19) – she’s unable to find a sponsor for an American Visa so can’t follow.
The heartbroken couple are now facing the prospect of being stuck three thousand miles apart.
The stress of Rob being told he had to leave has ruined Kerry’s health further she said, sharing pictures of her psoriasis which has flared up due to stress.
“He was looking after me, and if he’s allowed to work he can pay for a carer – but this way I’ll have to rely on the over-burdened NHS,” Kerry said.
“We just want to get the word out. The Home Office have to see they sometimes they make mistakes,” she added.
“It just seems crazy, the wonderful things he could do. He’s exceptionally bright, he’d be an asset for the UK.”