A woman who has lived in Fulham, London, her entire life recently came to the aid of an elderly neighbor living alone.
Lucy Ashen, 39, was concerned about the conditions in which the woman, who is in her 70s, was living in, according to Get West London.
Ashen tried for some time to win the woman’s trust and after several weeks, the reclusive neighbor agreed to let the younger woman come into her apartment. All the surfaces were covered in dirt, the older woman was wearing old and torn clothing and she had reportedly not taken a bath in 13 years.
“What I saw when she finally let me in will stay with me forever!” Ashen wrote on Facebook, according to WTHR. “It was horrific! Nobody should live like it! So, without stopping to think, I gutted her house! I mean everything went down to the toilet seat. I knew I needed help at this point, so without thinking too much of it I put a post on Facebook asking for help along with a list of what she needed.”
Ashen said within 24 hours, she had received 80 percent of what was needed. Offers of donations came from as far away as France and New Zealand. Cleaning the home took more than 60 hours.
“The response to my appeal was overwhelming. The flat could have been furnished 10 times over with what I was offered, and I'm so grateful,” she told Get West London.
Ashen believes the story is about more than how she has assisted one elderly lady.
“There must be thousands more people like her who are lonely, hungry and can't quite look after themselves but who don't know where to go for support, which is heartbreaking,” she added.
Ashen redecorated the apartment with the help of her 14-year-old daughter and has been able to get new clothes for the woman from donations.
To say thank you to all of those who donated and keep them updated on the woman’s progress, Ashen set up a Facebook page, called My Lady and Me.
She also set up a fundraising page so she can take the woman on day trips and plan other activities.
The elderly woman has mental health problems and her identity has been concealed to protect her vulnerability.
“I just hope this story can do some good. Even it makes one person stop and think, it will have been worth it,” Ashen added.