56-year-old Carmela Douglas from Henderson, Nevada was evicted from her home along with her two teenage boys Gerald and Jamal, Douglas was spending her last penny on a Days Inn hotel.
Life had been hard enough for her and her sons and it didn’t look like things were going to get any better.
It all started when Douglas’ younger son, Jamal, started feeling severe headaches and dizziness.
“He was diagnosed with a two-inches tumor on his front love,” Douglas said “he always had headaches and pain in his neck sometimes the pain was so bad that tears ran down his face. It was so tough for my kid.”
Douglas took Jamal to Henderson Hospital where he was immediately transferred to Los Angeles Children Hospital for an emergency brain surgery.
Following the surgery, Jamal started a radiotherapy treatment on the oncology field of Henderson Hospital, that’s where Carmela met Constance S. Thompson, a local nurse who she befriended.
“I have the position of talking to each patient to explain the possible side effects of radiation,” Said Thompson “and that’s when Carmela just opened up.”
The unexpected 3-week reprieve from the home she was renting was the result of the owner, whom Douglas herself had sold the house to a few years ago, having stopped paying the mortgage. They took her home.
Douglas had been a widow for 10 years and it had been that long since she had anyone helping to pay the monthly mortgage. That’s why she eventually sold the home and rented rather than owned the property. When foreclosure proceedings began, she didn’t know what to do, but she never expected that she would be evicted from her long-time home. That is, however, exactly what happened.
This was not just a place to live for Douglas and her sons. It was her home of 35 years. “They threw me out with my kids,” Douglas told us. “I couldn’t believe it.”
Douglas never dreamed she would be evicted from her home, and with a recovering child to take care of, it was a nightmarish experience. “I went through hell and back,” she said.
The neighbors were shocked.
Neighbors who knew Douglas family couldn’t believe it either. When they saw her belongings being hauled out of her house, they were stunned.
Jamal’s medical expenses left the family with barely money to make it to the end of the month. Because of her age Carmela hadn’t gotten a job yet, even though she went out every day to look for one.
“I didn’t want to cry in front of the kids, but when I walked out the door I broke down in tears” Said Douglas. One day Douglas found herself down to her last $10. The family started packing their things since they couldn’t afford another day in the motel. They were planning to go to a shelter where they could spend the night.
And then, someone knocked the door…
It was Nurse Thompson along with her co-workers and some of Carmela’s neighbors.
“We have seen you struggling through all this time, we know you’re a fighter we know how much you do every day to look after your children. That’s why we all joined to look after you” Nurse Thompson recalled.
They interceded to help Douglas get her home back.
All the Henderson Hospital workers who knew Douglas decided to pay Jamal’s medical debt. So Douglas would have to worry no more for expensive bills, now she could go back on her feet.
But the surprise didn’t end there.
One of Douglas neighbors, Julia Dunn, went to the auction her house was being sold at by the company who had purchased it after it foreclosed.
Dunn bought Douglas’ house back for $167,500.
“My sons told me that I didn’t need another house,” Dunn told us “But I needed her. I couldn’t see her living in a motel room… she’s been here so long. She needs to get her home back for her children.”
Douglas didn’t have to say anything. It was the actions of her neighbors and friends from the hospital who cared about her who created the speechless moment through their kind action.
Her gratitude for Calder is immense, but Dunn downplayed her generosity. “It was the right thing to do,” she said. “We’re family—the whole neighborhood.”