Lucy Ashen has lived in the city of Fullerton, United Kingdom for her entire life, and she loves her neighborhood there. Since she has lived there so long, there isn’t much that happens in Fullerton that surprises Lucy these days. That’s why it came as a shock to her when she saw the way her elderly neighbor has been living.
For the past 21 years, Lucy has lived next to a 76 year-old woman who she has nicknamed “My Lady.” The elderly woman, who lives in a one bedroom apartment, refers to Lucy as “Lucy Locket.”
The two have always had a friendly but distant relationship, saying a quick hello to each other in the hallway and waving at their doorways. Lucy had no idea that My Lady had been struggling with mental health issues for years. Though she had the feeling her elderly neighbor had trouble functioning at times, Lucy had no idea just how bad the situation had gotten.
Lucy finally learned what was going on behind My Lady’s door one day when the elderly woman locked herself out of her apartment. She asked Lucy for help, and when Lucy climbed through an open window, she was stunned by what she saw.
Lucy discovered that My Lady’s apartment was full of “indescribable filth and squalor” because she couldn’t clean or maintain it. She also learned that My Lady had not bathed in 13 years because of mobility problems.
“There was no food, filthy clothes, nobody to help her bathe and just never-ending loneliness and despair,” Lucy said. “What I saw when she finally let me in will stay with me forever! It was horrific! NOBODY should live like that!”
Lucy knew she had to do something immediately, so with My Lady’s position, she got in there and began sorting, tossing, disinfecting and cleaning. Lucy spent several days going through the home and cleaning it while her teenage daughter spent time with My Lady. Since nothing could be kept from the home, Lucy took to Facebook to ask for help in finding her neighbor new clothes, furniture and household supplies.
The story went viral, and within 24 hours, My Lady had been given 80% of the supplies she needed! My Lady was overwhelmed by all the support, as companies, charities, mental health professionals, tradesmen and others all offered to help her.
“…with the kindness and generosity of the people who donated items, I have been able to turn her house into a home,” Lucy recalled. “She has everything she could need, a bed to sleep in (she was sleeping on the floor) good clean furniture, fresh new bedding, beautiful new clothes, three meals a day, and most importantly, company. She truly has been saved from a lonely and degrading life, she has been given her dignity back and I intend for her to live out the rest of her life in comfort and surrounded by love.”
The transformation of My Lady’s home is completely astounding! Lucy said that her personality has changed dramatically as well, as finally bathing and having nice clothes has brought a glow to her eye that was never there before.
These days, My Lady loves talking to the volunteers who come in and out of her apartment to help her. She’s also stayed close to Lucy and her daughter, who both still come over to clean and help out.
“We have laughed, sung and danced around the front room!” Lucy said. “She had her first car ride in years. The sun was out, the windows were down, the music was blaring and she was singing along! She loved it!”
This just goes to show how much we can change someone’s life just by putting in a little effort to help them get back on their feet. SHARE this story so your friends and family can see this as well!