There is always something good in every bad situation. John Chhan, the 62-year-old doughnut shop owner, knows this very well. When Stella, the 63-year-old wife of John was diagnosed with a brain aneurysm, John was shaken. But thanks to the effort of their kind-hearted neighbors- the husband and wife have something to smile about amidst the dark days.
30 years after migrating from Cambodia, John and Stella have been selling savory doughnuts in their very own Donut City located in Seal Beach, California. Every single day, the husband and wife would open their doughnut shop at 4:30 in the morning and would close at 2 in the afternoon.
But these days, John finds himself closing their doughnut shop as early as 7:30 in the morning. The reason why will surely move your hearts to tears!
When Stella was diagnosed with a brain aneurysm, the husband and wife decided it would be the best for Stella to stay at the rehabilitation center. However, this meant fewer opportunity for John to spend time with his cherished wife. Every day, John only gets to spend time with Stella after their shop has closed.
It did not take long for their loyal customers to miss the vibrant presence of Stella. They were not expecting that Stella has been suffering from a serious illness. After learning about the sad news, their loyal customers offered financial assistance to cover for their expenses.
“It is heartbreaking to hear her misfortune,” Steven O’Fallon, a regular customer for years shared. “She was always in the back making doughnuts.”
A customer even offered to create a GoFundMe page for John and Stella. However, John declined the thoughtful offer. According to the 62-year-old husband, they have enough money to cover for Stella’s condition, what he could not afford is time.
“He said he has enough money,” Dawn Caviola, a loyal customer of John and Stella shared in an interview. “He just wants to spend more time with his wife.”
With their bread and butter relying on their doughnut shop, John has no choice but to man the store and make the most out of the limited time he has to spend with his wife.
So instead of simply giving out monetary donations, their loyal customers who have been with them throughout the decades thought of a sweet and genius idea! Knowing how precious John’s time is, they thought of helping Donut City sell more donuts so that John can close the shop as early as possible.
“We have watched them work extremely hard to keep their doors open and support their family,” Marc Loopesko, another loyal patron of Donut City expressed their support for the hardworking couple. “We will always support them, even more so in their time of need.”
Through the collective effort of their loyal customers, the news has spread by word of mouth and people were encouraged to buy dozens of donut at a time to help the couple.
“Hey come and support this guy’s donuts,” another customer said, recommending the Donut City. “He’s a great man, great cause.”
John and Stella’s hearts are full of love and gratefulness. The inspiring husband and wife are genuinely happy and grateful over the unexpected overwhelming kindness their neighbors showered them with.
“I so appreciate it,” John said, extending his gratefulness to everyone who’s helping them. “I just can’t say enough thank you and thank you.”
If there’s another thing John is very much grateful for, it is none other than his wife’s slow but promising recovery.
“She can talk, she can write. Right now she’s trying to start…eat something.” John shared the progress of Stella’s recovery to the people who have helped them.
Steven O’Fallon shared that it is only right for them to help John and Stella during trying times. After all, the husband and wife showed nothing but kindness to all of their customers.
“I would drop by there with my mom and dad in the mornings before school. John would always toss a few extra doughnut holes. He always has a smile on his face.” Steven reminisced with a sweet smile on his face.
Another loyal patron is pleased by the unity and compassion their neighborhood have shown in order to do something good to their neighbor in need.
“It’s a blessing really,” an anonymous customer happily said. “We need more people like that to just help everybody out in whatever need they have.”
Watch the touching video below to learn more about John and Stella… The loving couple who is blessed to have the kindest, most compassionate, and most thoughtful customers in the world!
Photos and Video | CBS Los Angeles