She Changed His Life When They Met 4 Years Ago. Now He is Helping the 89-Year-Old End Hers with Dignity
When they met four years ago, Chris Salvatore was the handsome young actor who lived across the courtyard. Now, for 89-year-old Norma Cook, Salvatore is so much more.
Calling him the “grandson [she] never had,” Cook has not only been befriended by the young man, but “stole the show” from him on YouTube, her own fan base growing via Salvatore's hashtag #MyNeighborNorma, according to CBSLA.
But Cook's health, which includes a leukemia diagnosis, has been in a decline. Though Salvatore was quick to take on the role of caregiver by taking her to the pharmacy, bank, and grocery store, Cook needed more help.
When she began falling and getting injured, Salvatore installed a wireless doorbell so she could ring him when she needed his help.
Her health has continued to spiral downward, and more rapidly than before. Cook will need a miracle to make it through the holidays this year. She is currently in a rehabilitation center, but wants to go home and be put on hospice to live out her final days with dignity in her own apartment, with her beloved cat Hermes.
Once again, Salvatore has been there for Cook, who has no else nearby to help her. The only way she'll be released to go home rather than to a county facility is if she has 24-hour professional care, which Salvatore discovered will cost roughly $2,800 per week.
Salvatore started a GoFundMe page to help raise funds to cover the costs of hospice for Cook and put out an emotional plea on YouTube:
As of November 27th, more than $44,000 of the increased-to-$50,000 goal had been raised. Salvatore says what he has done for Cook is “the least [he] can do” because she has done so much for him, such as teaching him to be a better person.
On Thanksgiving Day, he was able to present Cook with a check from GoFundMe for the $34,445 raised to that point. Cook was thrilled and grateful she could go home.