16/02/2017 12:31 GMT

Actor Mourns Death Of 89-Year-Old Neighbour Norma Who He Invited To Live With Him

'Norma reminded me that we all are created to love.'

An actor who invited his 89-year-old terminally ill neighbour to move in with him has revealed that she has sadly passed away. 

Big-hearted Chris Salvatore, 31, invited Norma Cook to live with him after the pensioner became ill and was told she could no longer live by herself. 

The pair struck up an unlikely friendship and had an absolute blast as housemates, with Salvatore sharing photos of their life together online using the hashtag #myneighbornorma.

On 15 February, the actor revealed that Norma had died after battling pneumonia and leukaemia.

“It’s with a heavy heart that I share the news that earlier this morning the world lost a truly inspiring, beautiful woman,” Salvatore wrote online.

“Norma is now resting peacefully in the eternal and while she may no longer physically be with us, her spirit will continue to fill the hearts of so many people.

“Perhaps Norma’s lasting legacy is that her story helped the world to see the true meaning of love.”

He continued: “Norma reminded me that we all are created to love and all desire to be loved.

“This year Norma has helped the world see the true meaning of Valentine’s Day.

“To love another is not about living struggle free or never experiencing hurt or loss, but to fully and deeply open our hearts to one another without fear.

“Each of us is lovable even with all of our differences. Love has no boundaries. May you rest in peace my sweet sweet lady, Norma.”

Cook suffered with leukaemia and had 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 her to live with him.

Using a GoFundMe page, Salvatore raised the money he needed to move Cook into his apartment. He cared for her part-time and used money donated to pay for carers when he went out.

He said it made sense for Cook to move in with him, as he was visiting her most days anyway.

Cook had 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 previously told Today.

The actor added that he loved having “friendly but sassy” Cook in his home.