Hello everyone, my name is Chris Salvatore and 4 years ago I moved in across the hall from a friendly but sassy full of life 85 year old woman named Norma. After a couple weeks of saying hello through her kitchen window that looked out onto our apartment complex courtyard I decided to knock on her door and enter Norma's world. Mostly because I could not here her very well through the window as she does not have he strongest voice anymore but I was also curious to hear her story. I soon learned that she had no family of her own living here in California, was suffering from a long list of health complications, including leukemia and just that week she had to give up her car because she lost her ability to drive. The day I entered her apartment and spoke with her face to face was the day my life was changed forever.
Over the last 4 years Norma and I became best friends. I would help her cook meals, drive her to the doctors, banks, pharmacies and even just recently I got the amazing experience to accompany her to vote. We had such a blast these past few years filled with so much joy and laughter. She is now 89 years old and sadly within the last 6 months her health has began to decline at an increasing rate.
Being her friend I took it upon myself to become even more involved in her life by helping her out however I could even by installing a wireless doorbell for her to get a hold of me while I was in my apartment. She began to lose her ability to walk and every couple months she would fall and have to be rushed to the ER. There were moments when I was awoken in the middle of the night by the sound of the wireless doorbell to find her in bed suffering from an asthma attack, on the floor, or even stuck on the toilet.
Within the last 3 months she has been in and out of the hospital 3 separate occasions due to a fall or other health complications. She is currently being held at the Rehabilitation Center of Beverly Hills with only 10 more days before she will have to be forced to move to a county nursing facility that takes her Medicare and mediCal insurance. These county facilities are often times unclean and just operating at the minimum health code to stay in business.
Norma has no money saved of her own and only receives a monthly social security check from the government which barely just covers her rent. The last week and a half has been really hard on Norma since she now has been given direct orders from her doctor that she cannot live at home unless she has 24 hour care. She cries in terror about being sent to a county facility where she says she will just be left to die without any dignity. Her nurses have told me that she doesn't have very much longer to live. I was told by one of them that if she makes it through the holidays that it would be a miracle.
Norma's last wish is to be at home with her cat Hermes as she transitions into the next life. She has been there for me so much these last past years just as much as I have been there for her and I feel that it is my duty to be able to give her this gift to live her last moments at home with 24 hour professional care. She has 170 hours per month given to her by the government for home care but that simply is not enough with her current health. She needs to be fed, bathed, changed, helped to the bathroom and much more. Using a certified home care agency that charges 20+ an hour to the nurses would equate to roughly $500 a day and $3,500 a week. The more money that is raised the longer Norma will get to stay at home!
I am asking for anyone who has seen my postings on social media with Norma and has been touched by her love and her smile and yes, even her sassiness to help donate what they can. If you can't I understand and would just ask you to share this with as many people as you can because I think the world just needs a little love and kindness right now and that is certainly true for my dear friend Norma. Norma has made me a kinder, more compassionate human being and this is the least that I can do for her! Thank you all so much ❤️
UPDATE - 1/20/17 We are reaching the 2 month mark since Norma has come home from the hospital and I am so happy to share that she is continuing to prove the doctors and nurses wrong by continuing to THRIVE! To prolong the remaining funds to prevent her from having to be moved into a county facility, Norma and I have decided to move her into my apartment across the hall where she now has her own beautiful room and bathroom! She loves it! I do most of my work at home so I am here most of the time to care for her so it only made sense to the both of us. She is my adopted grandmother after all and I am her grandson she never had. :) We will still have caregivers coming in to care for her as well as her weekly hospice visits from the nurses and doctors so any excess funds raised will go towards caregivers as well as medical bills. Thank you all so much for continuing to give Norma the quality care she deserves!