How well do you know your neighbor? Do you know them well enough to invite them over to your home? What about inviting them to live with you?
In 2013, Chris Salvatore moved in across the hall from Norma Cook, an 85-year-old woman, and her cat, Hermes. The two always said hello to each other, but after Salvatore introduced himself they became fast friends.
In fact, they became such good friends that when Norma was near the end of her life and in need of constant care, Salvatore, a 31-year-old actor, asked her to move in.
When Norma turned 89 her health began to rapidly decline. After a hospital stay, Salvatore learned that Cook wouldn’t be allowed to return home unless she had constant care. Without any children of her own or family nearby, she was at a loss.
Salvatore took to the internet and set up a GoFundMe for Cook. Once the two best friends tested a few caretakers, the 31-year-old realized he was going to have to do something more.
“The only other option was for her to go into a facility,” he told TODAY. “I just couldn’t do that to someone who is like my own grandmother.”
He invited Cook to move into his apartment.
“I’m so happy I was able to give her this gift of living her last days at home,” Salvatore told GoFundMe. “I can’t imagine what it’s like to go through the end of your life at a hospital without your friends or pets.”
The two turned out to be excellent roommates.
“We always watch the news,” Cook told TODAY. “We mostly talk and drink Champagne and eat peanuts.
Unfortunately, on February 15, 2017, Cook passed away. Salvatore shared the heartbreaking news on Instagram, where he typically shared the pair’s adventures.
Salvatore didn’t have to help Cook in any way, but he couldn’t bare to see her spend her final days in a hospital without someone who loved her.