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Young Janitor Becomes Only One Taking Care of 17 Elderlies after Their Home Was Ruined — Story of the Day

Preeti Pillai
Jul 25, 2022
07:30 P.M.
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When seventeen elderly citizens were stranded in a ruined nursing home, Mike did the right thing instead of abandoning them like everyone else. And it made all the difference.

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Mike often dreamed of the day he would be called 'Dr. Mike Rodriguez.' But in reality, he answered to 'Mike from Housekeeping.'

The 24-year-old boy had recently landed a job as a janitor at Silver Oaks, a local care facility for elderly citizens. A week into the job, he was working 12-hour shifts. And in the few hours that Mike got to himself after work, he stayed up and studied for the medical entrance exams.

On the surface of it, the Silver Oaks facility was not a great place to work. It was located on the city's outskirts, an old two-storeyed building built in the 20th century, with walls and floors that were not easy to maintain.

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Mike and the other housekeeping staff were assigned only a dingy room with a kitchenette as their quarters.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Getty Images

For illustration purposes only | Source: Getty Images

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However, that old place was nothing short of home to Mike. He got this job after facing a lot of challenges, and it allowed him to be the breadwinner for his family across the border.

"I'm going to become a doctor someday, Mama. All our problems will be over, and we will live a comfortable, respectful life."

The boy who aspired to do ground-breaking research in medicine was spending his days mopping floors and cleaning bathrooms around the clock. But Mike didn't consider this job unworthy even for a minute. Instead, he made the most out of it.

Apart from doing his janitorial duties sincerely, he also showed initiative in caring for the residents. He would volunteer to monitor their food and medication and shadow the doctor on the daily rounds. Mike was using every opportunity he got to apply and improve his medical knowledge.

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But perhaps more than all of that, Mike felt at home because of the residents themselves. He had only been there for a week, but all of the 48 senior citizens who lived at the facility treated him like their own son.

The men and women were moved by Mike's eagerness to study and his kind heart. In a place that had become monotonous and mechanical, Mike brought in laughter, music, and play.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Getty Images

For illustration purposes only | Source: Getty Images

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Beyond his regular duties, Mike did for them what most people didn't: he willingly spent time with them, taking walks and listening to their stories.

All that happiness came to a halt when an unexpected tragedy struck on a particularly stormy night.

In the middle of a power outage, a loud crash was heard. A part of the ceiling of the Silver Oaks building had collapsed. There was immediate panic on the premises, and the staff rushed to see if anyone was hurt.

While nobody was hurt on the ground floor, two elderly people who lived on the upper floor were badly injured. Mike was one of the first to rush to their rescue.

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The next morning, the owner of the facility was expected to visit and address the collapse. Several residents and their family members had warned the owner about the old structure, but he ignored them and refused to renovate the building.

The staff and the residents waited, but nobody showed up. Within the next few hours, the staff packed up in frustration and left. "We refuse to put our lives in danger anymore. Mike, you should leave too. This place is not worth it," his colleagues said.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Getty Images

For illustration purposes only | Source: Getty Images

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Just as the staff left, several residents emptied their rooms, too. They had managed to contact their families, who had driven down to the facility to pick them up.

"At least they have their families back," Mike thought, as he bid the familiar old faces a teary goodbye.

The skies were changing, the sun began to set, and the clouds got darker again. This was going to be another harrowing night.

Do the right thing, even when it is the hard choice.

Mike thought of his family. He could not reach them, but he kept imagining what his parents would say. His papa would probably ask him to leave the premises and go someplace safer. His sister would've said the same thing.

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But in his heart, he knew that his mother would disagree. It was her voice that was resonating the loudest in Mike's heart.

While most of the residents had left, there were still a few who were stranded. These were older people who had no one to go home to. Mike knew each of their names and stories.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Getty Images

For illustration purposes only | Source: Getty Images

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And while he wasn't answerable to anyone, he didn't have the heart to abandon them. He had tried to reach local authorities and summon help, but the violent weather and outage had made it impossible.

On any ordinary day, the residents would be enjoying a simple dinner at that time. Mike quickly went to the kitchen area, and within the next hour, he cooked a simple meal of soup, salad, and rice for the residents.

Mike spent the rest of the night feeding the bedridden residents, changing their diapers, and helping them fall asleep through the terror that must have been running through their minds.

Two days went by, with Mike as the sole caretaker for the seventeen senior citizens in the abandoned building. On day three, the sun shone bright again. As soon as communications went back up, Mike called repeatedly for help. Until a few hours later, he heard someone knocking the main door of the building. A team of firefighters and deputies had finally arrived.

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They were shocked to learn that a 24-year-old boy had single-handedly been taking care of the elderly residents non-stop.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Getty Images

For illustration purposes only | Source: Getty Images

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The response team carried the residents to a safe location, and just before leaving, one of the firefighters asked Mike, "What made you stay, young man? Didn't you ever feel like leaving?"

Mike replied in an exhausted but kind voice, "No, it was a no-brainer for me to stay. What if these were my parents or grandparents? I wouldn't want them to be abandoned through a crisis like this.

"These may not have been my blood, but they were someone's parents and grandparents. That was enough reason for me to stay."

The firefighters cheered for Mike before they dropped him off at the nearest bus station.

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Mike now had to start over, giving interviews and looking for new work while struggling to find a place to stay. All this with just a few days left for the entrance exam.

He called his mother, whose voice soothed the worry and anxiety that was building up.

"Son, I'm so proud of you. You did the right thing. Everything will be alright, you'll see."

Mike had really needed to hear those words from his mother.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Getty Images

For illustration purposes only | Source: Getty Images

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He remembered the grateful smiles and hugs from his seventeen old friends. That memory gave him strength, and he knew he would make it despite all odds.

A month later, Mike learned that he had cleared the exams. He wished he could go home and celebrate with his family, but his new job at the local cafe was very demanding, and he had no money saved up for the trip.

"My old friends from Silver Oaks would be so happy for me!" he thought. "I wish I could tell each one of them!"

Mike was lost in thought when his manager called for him and handed him a note. Clueless about who sent it, he opened the letter. And with each sentence he read, his eyes welled up more and more in happiness.

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For illustration purposes only | Source: Getty Images

For illustration purposes only | Source: Getty Images

"Dearest Mike,

This note is a big hug and a kiss from each one of us. We learned that you passed your exams, and our hearts are full.

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You are destined for great things, son. And you have all our love and blessings.

Consider this a small gift of gratitude for the love you showed us when no one else would. It's not a lot, but it should cover a lovely new apartment, your college fees for the first year, and your flight ticket to go see your family.

We love you. We want to see you. Our addresses are on the back of this letter. We'll be holding on to our most exciting stories and new gossip to spill with you.

Love you, son. See you soon!

Cheers,

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Your old buddies from Silver Oaks."

For illustration purposes only | Source: Getty Images

For illustration purposes only | Source: Getty Images

Mike saw the amount on the check, and his heart skipped a beat. That was indeed more than enough money to get him into the best medical school in the city. He took off his apron, stepped out of the cafe, and never looked back.

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What can we learn from this story?

  • Do the right thing, even when it is the hard choice. Mike could have quickly abandoned the residents like the rest of the staff. But he knew that it would be wrong, and he chose to listen to that instinct. It was not an easy choice, but he ended up making a big difference with his help.
  • Treat every elderly man and woman like you would treat your grandparents. They may not be related to you, but just like your grandparents, they have lived a long and perhaps challenging life. Your small acts of kindness could mean a lot to them.

Share this story with your friends. It might brighten their day and inspire them.

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If you enjoyed this story, you might like this one about an old lady whose calls for help became an unbearable burden to her son-in-law, but she ended up receiving kindness from an unexpected gang.

This piece is inspired by stories from the everyday lives of our readers and written by a professional writer. Any resemblance to actual names or locations is purely coincidental. All images are for illustration purposes only. Share your story with us; maybe it will change someone’s life. If you would like to share your story, please send it to info@amomama.com.

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