When a heartbreaking video of a 72-year-old woman stumbling on the front porch of a house while delivering pizzas surfaced on the internet, people felt bad for her.
Soon, they united in her support, and their kind efforts changed the elderly lady’s life forever.
It was a regular day for senior citizen Barbara Gillespie, who worked as a pizza delivery rider for Domino’s Pizza. Riding around South Carolina and navigating through streets to reach the customer’s house was routine for the elderly woman.
That day, Lacey Klein placed an order for her family, hoping they would enjoy dinner at home. Little did she know that an unexpected incident was waiting for her at her doorstep.
After receiving Klein’s order, the restaurant prepared it quickly, and Gillespie gladly agreed to drop it at the family’s doorstep. Like many senior citizens, Gillespie worked hard not because she liked it but because she needed the money to make ends meet.
While other women her age were enjoying their lives after retirement, Gillespie couldn’t relax at home after working for years as a school lunch lady. Her circumstances forced her to deliver pizzas for a living―a job that required lots of physical exertion.
Gillespie never complained about her life struggles and always showed up at work to fulfill her responsibilities. She worked like her younger co-workers despite having less energy than them because of her age.
As Gillespie approached Klein’s front porch that fateful day, she struggled to walk carrying a pile of food boxes on her right arm while holding a bag with her left hand. All this time, the security camera outside the home captured the elderly lady’s every step.
She could feel Gillespie’s pain and decided to do something to help her.
While walking towards the door, Gillespie put her left foot forward and realized there was a step. She couldn’t see the ground because the food boxes blocked her line of sight, so she relied on her calculations. She put her left foot on the step, then her right foot, but couldn’t hold her balance and landed on the ground.
As Gillespie tripped on the stair, she fell to her right side while the boxes of food flew to the other side. The camera recorded her fall revealing she tried to hold on to the chairs on the front porch to keep her from falling to the ground, but nothing worked.
At this moment, the elderly lady was more worried that she had ruined Klein’s order. She thought she’d hurt herself if the chair’s armrest had hit her face, but her priority was still her customer’s satisfaction.
A few moments later, Klein’s husband, Kevin Keighron, emerged from his house and was shocked to see the elderly delivery woman lying on the ground. He asked her if she was okay, to which she replied:
“I ruined your food. I fell.”
While Gillespie said she was frightened by the incident, Klein and Keighron were shocked after realizing the pizza delivery woman was still working at 72. Klein said:
“It makes me heartbroken to see anyone elderly having to work to keep up with the economy and pay bills when they should be retired and enjoying their lives.”
Klein could relate to the woman because her father and father-in-law also used to work before they passed away. She could feel Gillespie’s pain and decided to do something to help her.
On February 2, 2023, Klein created a GoFundMe page to help Gillespie take some time off work. Before that, she uploaded the security camera footage on TikTok, hoping people would sympathize with the elderly lady after watching her fall. Little did she know that her kind efforts would lead to something life-changing.
Soon, the TikTok video went viral, and netizens generously donated to the online fundraiser. As of this writing, Klein has raised $248,992 through more than 15,400 donations, and the numbers are still growing.
Meanwhile, Gillespie had no idea about this until Klein’s family visited her the next day. Unaware of her viral video and the online fundraiser, Gillespie was shocked to see Klein’s family at her workplace. They gave her flowers and then told her about the GoFundMe page, to which the elderly lady responded:
“I’m going to faint!”
Klein’s initial expectation was that the fundraiser would raise enough money for Gillespie to stay home for a few days. However, the response was so tremendous that it allowed the elderly lady to quit her work for good. Klein posted an update on her Facebook profile:
“Guys!!! Barbara put in her 2-week notice at work yesterday!!! She’s officially retiring! So excited for her.”
After the heartbreaking video went viral, netizens couldn’t help but send messages of support for Gillespie. Here’s what they said:
“That’s a good woman with an amazing heart. The fact that she took a spill that hard and was more worried about ruining the family’s dinner than her actually being hurt shows how compassionate she is. I’m glad she’s now retired! Prayers to her and her new family!”
“What a sweet ending, but it’s such a shame that some of our elderly have to rely on the generosity of strangers online to retire.”
“With all the bad happening in the world today, it’s very nice to hear this story. It brought a tear of joy to my eyes, knowing she and that family now have a relationship, and they call her Grandma.”
After retiring, Gillespie can stay home with her family and enjoy her life and her grandchildren, including Klein’s children who now also call her their grandma and love her dearly. We wish the elderly lady all the best and hope her life brings her nothing but happiness.