Ken Benbow missed his wife, who passed away in August 2019, dearly and his full-time caregiver, Kia, wanted him to have something special.
Editor’s note: This article was originally published on April 22, 2020. It has since been updated.
Caregivers across the world are doing the best they can to help people in distress, and sometimes that means going out of the way. They make an extra effort to lift someone's spirit and give them a gift which they won't forget, and for this, they deserve all the respect and appreciation and more.
A caregiver at a home for seniors gave a gift so thoughtful to one of the residents at the Thistleton Lodge in Preston, Lancashire, UK, that it'll warm your hearts to see his reaction. The 94-year-old war veteran Ken Benbow was taken by surprise with the beautiful gift and the moment was recorded in a video, which has since gone viral.
A young caregiver Kia Tobin, 17, had noticed how Ken slept with his wife's photo every night. He had been married to his Ada for 71 years and they were together until the day she died in August 2019. He moved into the Preston care home after Ada's death. To keep her close even now, he slept with a photo of her by his bed at his care home. His love for his wife was known to Kia, who just wanted him to feel closer to Ada. So, the 17-year-old got Ada's face printed on a cushion and gifted it to Ken.
His reaction when he sees the gift is what pure love looks like. He gave a big smile and then broke down in tears. "Ada was the most wonderful, most caring wife," he told BBC Breakfast. "When I got the cushion it was the most precious thing I could have wished for. We were married for 71 years and it broke my heart when she left me, but now I’ve got her every night in my arms," he added.
The Thistleton Lodge shared the video and added, "We know our residents are missing their loved ones at this time but let’s not forget those who sadly aren’t here with us anymore. Today, one of our lovely staff Kia Mariah Tobin gave Ken a pillow with his beloved wife on who we also cared for. Safe to say we all shed a tear with Ken today. Lots of love, your Thistleton Lodge family."
Ken, who was in the navy during WWII, has many stories about his past. He was a 14-year-old delivery boy in 1940 in Oswestry when he saw the survivors of the Dunkirk evacuation, as per the Lancashire Post. Seeing those men had inspired him to join the navy and he was later part of D-Day and the Pacific for the preparations for the invasion of Japan. He left the navy in 1946 and worked as a representative for agricultural supplies. He worked his way up to be a director at the company until he retired in 1990. Ada and he lived in Garstang to be close to her sister. He was awarded the Légion d’Honneur by the French Government in 2016 for his efforts in liberating the country from Nazi rule. Many other D-Day veterans have received the honor.
Kia, who is his full-time carer, said, "Ken is so funny and an amazing person. The photo of Ada is in a glass frame by his bed and he speaks to her every night. Now he can take the pillow to bed with him and give it a good squeeze."
She shared the video on Twitter and said, "I have such an amazing job thank you so much for your support and amazing comments." Unfortunately, Kia lost her grandmother on April 21, 2020. In a Facebook post, she wrote, "well granny tobin today was your day you left us, at least you stayed to watch me and i know you’d be proud Rest In Peace you amazing strong & wonderful woman i hope you have the best seat up there."
During this difficult time, when there is a health crisis across the world, this is a reminder that good still exists in the world. It also reminds us of the important job that caregivers have.