Quick, what’s the nicest thing an Uber driver’s ever done for you? Keeping quiet for your entire ride? Offering you their charging or aux cable? Take a McDonald’s drive-thru detour so you can score a late-night Big Mac? An 89-year-old man named Ronald Dembner has your story beat. His Uber driver, Lauren Mulvihill, actually changed his life.
Lauren Mulvihill, an Uber driver from Georgia, recently picked up 89-year-old veteran Ronald Dembner from the hospital. She assumed there would at least be a family member waiting for Ronald when he got home, but no one was there.
“I thought I was gonna be greeted by family members,” Lauren told 11 Alive News. “Somebody—a brother, sister, son, daughter.” With no one to greet him, Lauren helped Ronald to the door. As Ronald explained to Lauren, he lived alone with his dog Homer ever since his wife and two sons passed away.
For Lauren, the grim conditions of Ronald’s solitary life set in when the pair entered his home. Ronald lived in squalor. Mold, filthy rugs, garbage—even dog feces—were strewn about his home.
Though Ronald was mentally fine, physically he struggled. His limited mobility made routine upkeep a daunting task.
Ronald’s living situation had deteriorated so much, he was afraid of calling for help for fear he would lose his house and his dog.
Lauren wanted to help Ronald. She tried and failed to contact someone who could assist the senior citizen, so she decided to take matters into her own hands.
Lauren cleaned up parts of his house herself and then put out a call out on Facebook to enlist volunteers.
Dozens responded. The group went to work, cleaning Ronald’s house, tearing out his dirty carpets, making repairs, and even securing food and medical care for his dog.
“I just don’t have the words to explain how grateful I am, how thankful I am,” Ronald told 11 Alive News.
After living in solitude for so long, Ronald was also thankful for the companionship. “Friendship, to be together with people who care,” he said. “God bless them all for what they’ve done.”
Lauren started a Facebook group called “Helping Mr. Ronald” where more have joined the effort to help the veteran.
The group’s next project goal is getting Ronald a new mattress and building a fence for Homer.
“For the rest of my life I will never forget it,” Ronald said of his guardian angels. “I love them all.”
h/t: 11 Alive News