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 street from Norma Cook, an 85-year-old woman, and her cat Hermes. The two always greeted each other, but after Salvatore introduced himself, they quickly became friends.
In fact, they became such good friends that when Norma was nearing the end of her life and needed constant care, Salvatore, a 31-year-old actor, asked Norma to move in.
When Norma turned 89, her health began to rapidly decline. After a hospital stay, Salvatore learned that Cook would not be allowed to return home without constant care. With no children 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 to a facility,” he told TODAY. “I just couldn’t do that to someone 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 spend your life in the hospital without friends or pets.”
The two turned out to be great roommates.
“We always watch the news,” Cook told TODAY. “We mostly talk, 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.
“She called me the grandson she never had,” Salvatore said of Cook.
Salvatore didn’t have to help Cook in any way, but he couldn’t bear to see her spend her final days in a hospital without someone who loved her.