Chris Salvatore, 31, became 89-year-old Norma Cook’s carer when she stopped treatment for her leukemia in the autumn, according to Metro.
Sadly, Norma, who was a retired interior designer with a love of champagne and her cat Hermes, died yesterday morning in Los Angeles.
Chris wrote on Facebook: ‘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.
The pair met four years ago when Chris moved into the flat across from hers and he said she would wave to him from her kitchen window.
They became the best of friends – Norma called him ‘the grandson I never had’ – over a glass of champagne.
He told the Today show: ‘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.’
Norma was diagnosed with leukaemia 10 years ago and Chris helped to raise $30,000 for her medical expenses.
Eventually doctors said she could not live on her own, so he invited her to move in with her.