They’re an unusual duo, but 31-year-old Hollywood actor Chris Salvatore and his 89-year-old neighbor Norma Cook are inseparable. However, it doesn’t stop there.
After Salvatore learned his neighbor had been diagnosed with leukemia, he did something that most people would never even think of doing, and it would change this woman’s life.
The two had been neighbors in the same apartment complex, living across the hall from each other for years. “She called me the grandson I never had,” Salvatore said of his “friendly but sassy” neighbor.
But after Cook spent two months in the hospital battling pneumonia, among other breathing problems, her doctors would not let her go back to her apartment without 24-hour care.
Salvatore was sprung into action and began a GoFundMe account, which raised over $50,000. But with the high expenses of Cook’s illness and the caretakers, the money went fast.
“The only other option was for her to go into a facility” Salvatore said. “I just couldn’t do that to someone who is like my own grandmother.” So, Salvatore does the unthinkable. He asks her to move in with him!
“She couldn’t be happier that I asked,” he said. “I was over there visiting most days anyway.”
Cook, who has lived in this West Hollywood apartment for nearly 30 years, couldn’t imagine having to live anywhere else. “My apartment was the only place she would have moved. She has strong opinions about where she wants to carry out the rest of her days, and she wants to stay here.”
Cook seems to be loving the new situation as well. “He cooks for me,” she told TODAY. She continued to joke, “If he can’t make it as an actor, he can make it as a chef.”
Cook, who is well aware of her own health and situation, has chosen to spend the time she has left with her “grandson.”
“The nurses and doctors told her that it would be a miracle if she lived past the holidays, so the fact that she’s still thriving is just a really great thing,” Salvatore told TODAY. “She’s doing great. If you could see her right now, she looks so cute on the couch with her feet propped up. She just hangs out on my couch and watches TV.”
They are both so grateful for the situation, even if it is because of bad circumstances. “It’s really fulfilling to be there for her,” Salvatore said. And Cook loves the company and care that Salvatore has selflessly provided: “He’s a really wonderful guy.”
What an inspirational story of friendship! We need more kindness like this in the world. SHARE this story, and make someone’s day! God bless!