An elderly caregiver just gave an assisted living facility resident the sweetest surprise ever: a pillow with a picture of his late wife.
Ken Bembow, a British war veteran, has been sleeping with a framed photograph of his late wife, Aida, every night following her passing nine months ago. A carer at Thistleton Lodge named Kia Mariah Tobin thought that wasn’t such a good idea; the man could cut himself with the glass frame in case it breaks. So, she came up with a safer and better alternative.
Over the weekend, Kia surprised the 94-year-old and gave him a pillow with a photo of Aida. Upon realizing what it was, the veteran immediately was overwhelmed with emotions. It was clear from the look on his face just how much he loved it. A staff captured the heartwarming scene on video, and the facility took to Facebook to share the emotional moment.
“We know our residents are missing their loved ones at this time but let’s not forget those who sadly aren’t here with us anymore,” they wrote. “Today, one of our lovely staff Kia Mariah Tobin gave Ken a pillow with his beloved wife on who we also cared for. Safe to say we all shed a tear with Ken today. Lots of love, your Thistleton Lodge family.”
The video has since gone viral, earning 424K views since it was posted on Saturday. News outlets caught wind of their story and three days later, the duo appeared on Good Morning Britain to discuss how much the gift meant to Ken. As he recounted the moment the 17-year-old elderly caregiver presented him with the pillow, Ken couldn’t help but get emotional.
“It was so touching, it was lovely,” he told hosts Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid. “The most precious thing anyone could ever wish for.”
Ken, who fought in World War II, said that he and his wife had been married for 71 years before she passed away. He called her “the best little woman in the world.”
“She was the most loving, caring, beautiful wife anyone could wish to have. She never did a thing wrong in her life,” Ken said of his late wife.
Ken admitted that they never wanted to live in a care facility, but they had no regrets as Thistleton Lodge turned out to be “the most wonderful place in the world” with “excellent” staff members. And Kia was definitely one of them.
The elderly caregiver moved into the lodge two weeks ago to protect the senior residents from contracting the coronavirus. She said the gesture was her simple way of bringing a smile to Ken’s face.
“It was amazing. It was just so rewarding, as well, because for something that doesn’t cost a lot… [and] for something so small, it made him so happy,” Kia said during the interview. “Everyone was so emotional about it.”
And it was worth it. Ken said Kia made him the “happiest man in the world.”
Watch Kia and Ken’s heart-tugging moment in the video below.
What a beautiful story of kindness! Sometimes, all it really takes is one simple gesture to bring joy into someone’s life.