A 31-year-old has struck up an unlikely friendship with his 89-year-old neighbour after inviting her to move in with him.
Actor Chris Salvatore has lived in an apartment across the hall from Norma Cook for four years. When the pensioner was discharged from hospital last year, doctors told her she could no longer live by herself.
Cook has leukaemia and spent two months in the hospital battling pneumonia and related breathing problems. She was told she’d need round-the-clock care when she was discharged, but she couldn’t afford to pay for at-home carers.
After hearing about her plight, kind-hearted Salvatore invited Cook to live with him.
The pair have been inseparable ever since and Salvatore has been sharing photos of their friendship on social media, along with the hashtag #myneighbornorma.
Using a GoFundMe page, Salvatore raised the money he needed to move Cook into his apartment. He cares for Cook part-time and uses money donated to pay for carers when he goes out.
Any money that’s left over will be donated to help other people in Cook’s position after she passes.
He said it made sense for Cook to move in with him, as he was visiting her most days anyway.
Cook has lived in the apartment block in Los Angeles for more than 30 years and didn’t want to move too far from home.
“The only other option was for her to go into a facility. I just couldn’t do that to someone who is like my own grandmother,” Salvatore told Today.
The actor said he’s happy to have “friendly but sassy” Cook in his home.
“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,” he said.
“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.”
Cook seems pretty happy with the situation too, especially as Salvatore cooks her dinner every day. She even joked that if he can’t make it as an actor, “he can make it as a chef”.
Since moving in together, the pair have agreed to make the most of the time Cook has left, drinking her favourite beverage (Champagne) at every possible opportunity.
They spent New Year’s Eve together and even sent a joint Christmas card to friends and family.
Salvatore has also taken in Cook’s cat, Hermes.
What a guy.