French woman desperately trying to go home

By: Hannah Paczkowski

Talissa Najmi of France has been working in Lincoln on a visa. She recently found out her mom was dying, but she lost her passport and visa. She could get to France, but to get back to her job in Nebraska would take months. It was a heart-breaking situation.

“Some time next week it’s over and I’m not going to be there,” Talissa said Wednesday.

After our broadcast Wednesday night, someone called the station saying they had Talissa’s passport.

“It’s like ‘wow this person looks familiar, I think she shops in our store,’ and it just clicks to me that wait, we’ve got a passport in our safe,” Trader Joe’s manager Eric Boncuk said.

It’s Talissa’s ticket to saying goodbye to her mother. Boncuk said a customer turned the passport in at Trader Joe’s near 27th and Pine Lake a few weeks ago. He locked it up for safe keeping. Now, it’s safely back in Talissa’s hands.

“It’s probably life-changing that I can have closure and I can say goodbye and I can see her one more time,” Talissa said.

Talissa’s mother is brain dead after choking at a restaurant. She’s not expected to survive.

“It’s going to bring me home and I’m going to say goodbye, I know I’m going for a sad reason, but I don’t know, it’s great,” she said.

The Trader Joe’s team gave Talissa some French products from their store for her trip back to Europe. She said she plans to leave the U.S. by Monday.