89-Year-Old Is At Death's Door, So Young Neighbor Makes A Bold Move That Goes Viral
HeartEternal Staff 1/31/2017
Norma Cook and Chris Salvatore are an unlikely pair that first met almost five years ago. Chris, a 31-year-old Hollywood actor, and Norma, his 89-year-old neighbor, now are the best of friends.
Separated by 58 years, the two lived in the same apartment complex across the hallway from each other in West Hollywood, California. Norma, who has leukemia, ended up spending a couple of months in the hospital fighting for her life during a bout with pneumonia. She also was experiencing serious breathing issues. Chris was told by the nurses and doctors that she likely wouldn't live past the holidays, but she did.
When it was time for Norma to be discharged, she was told by doctors that she could not go home to the place where she had lived for 30 years unless she had round-the-clock care. But that wasn't covered by her insurance. So Chris started a GoFundMe page to help raise money for Norma to obtain the care. But that type of care was costly. So Chris had another solution, he told Today. Norma moved in with him.
"She does not want to budge. 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. She called me the grandson she never had. She just hangs out on my couch and watches TV."
The two told Today that their Oscar & Felix-type living arrangement is working out well, even with Norma's cat Hermes moving in. Norma, who doesn't have children or close relatives living in California, told Today they enjoy watching the news together, chatting, snacking on peanuts and drinking champagne, the same drink they shared together when he first knocked on her door five years ago.
"She offered me a glass of champagne - it's her favorite drink - and we just sat down and talked. We connected right away. Back when she was a young adult, she had a lot of friends who were gay, and I'm also gay, so I think it made her feel safe at home and at peace to sort of have that bond again."
The unlikely pair's story went viral after Chris started posting fun photos and videos of himself and Norma using the hashtag #myneighbornorma. She describes him as a "really wonderful guy" and Chris said the living arrangement just feels right.
"Moving her in ... it feels as though it was meant to be all along. It's really fulfilling to be there for her."
Here's a touching montage that captures their special relationship.
Norma jokes that if Chris doesn't make it big as an actor, he can be a chef. She loves his cooking and spending time with him. He loves the fact that she's spending her final days with someone who truly cares about her. What do you think of these two friends and roommates?
Source: Today FB Image Credit: Instagram/Chris Salvatore, Instagram/Chris Salvatore