Man who cared for sick 89-year-old neighbor says she passed away: ‘Love has no boundaries’

Credit: Instagram.com/ChrisSalvatore

HOLLYWOOD, Calif. — The 31-year-old man who stepped in to care for his 89-year-old neighbor and best friend when she became sick announced Wednesday that she has passed away.

Chris Salvatore took to social media to say that Norma Cook passed away.

His post read:

It’s with a heavy heart that I share the news that earlier this morning the world lost a truly inspiring, beautiful woman. 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. 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. ❤️

It's with a heavy heart that I share the news that earlier this morning the world lost a truly inspiring, beautiful woman. 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. Norma reminded me that we all are created to love and all desire to be loved. This year Norma has reminded us what Valentine's Day is all about. 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. ❤️

A post shared by Chris Salvatore (@chrissalvatore) on

The story began five years ago when Salvatore moved across the hall from Cook, TODAY reports. At first, they exchanged simple pleasantries such as hello and went about their day.

But one day, the two had a conversation. When they did, they instantly hit it off.

“She offered me a glass of Champagne — it’s her favorite drink — and we just sat down and talked,” he said. “We connected right away. Back when she was a young adult, she had a lot of friends who were gay, and I’m also gay, so I think it made her feel safe at home and at peace to sort of have that bond again.”

But when Cook, who has leukemia, was recently taken to the hospital and told she couldn’t return home unless she had 24-hour care, Salvatore stepped in to help.

Last Thanksgiving, he set up a GoFundMe page and raised more than $50,000 for his best friend, but the savings quickly diminished. That’s when he knew he had to ask her to move in with him.

Until Wednesday, the two had been living happily together.