84-year-old West Hollywood resident Norma Cook was an illustration of how widespread elderly solitude is. She had no idea they would become best friends when 26-year-old Chris Salvatore moved in next door. Salvatore invited her to spend her final days with him after their initial meeting, starting a five-year friendship. She first saw him via her kitchen window. He asked to come in and say hello after greeting each other. My Modern Met says she warmly greeted him, starting a five-year friendship.
Cook lived alone with her cat, Hermes, who fell in love with Salvatore. Salvatore and Cook bonded over champagne and chitchat. They adore pizza nights, restaurant visits, and birthday parties. Cook called Salvatore “the grandson she never had,” an oxymoron. 89-year-old Cook fell unwell. Living alone worsened her life. She was hospitalised in late 2016 with pneumonia and breathing problems. Leukemia was also diagnosed. She had no money, and her social security check barely covered rent. She faced eviction with her cat.
The medical personnel determined that she should live in a facility for the rest of her life. Her relatives and friends were unreliable. Salvatore refused. “I just couldn’t do that to someone who is like my own grandma,” Salvatore said, inviting her in. “She has deep convictions regarding the location in which she desires to spend the balance of her days, and she has stated a desire to remain in this house,” Salvatore said. “Bringing her in…it almost seems like it was always meant to be.” Helping her is rewarding. Cook’s home and critical care weren’t enough. Salvatore persevered despite the exorbitant costs.
He launched a GoFundMe for her. “Help Norma Pay for 24-Hour Home Care” raised $25,000 in seven hours. The campaign raised $50,000 in a month. “I’m so delighted I could give her the gift of living her last days at home,” Chris said. “I can’t imagine spending your last days in a hospital away from your family, friends, and even your pets.” I never imagined raising $50,000. It was miraculous.” The campaign raised over $75,000.