In 2008, New York Police Officer Susan Porcello and her partner responded to a 911 ambulance call that took them to a one-bedroom apartment at a Brooklyn address. There they found Gaspar Musso, an elderly diabetic who lived alone. He told them that he needed help, and that he had no family or friends. Officer Porcello felt she had to say something, and it was a simple statement. “Well,” she told Musso, “I’m your friend.”
As reported by Denis Hamill in the Daily News, those words changed both their lives. Officer Porcello got Mr. Musso to Lutheran Medical Center and made sure he received prompt and caring attention. She also discovered that he was a Marine veteran who had seen combat in the South Pacific in 1944.
Porcello got Musso admitted to a first-class nursing home in Brooklyn. There she visited him several times a week, reading to him and otherwise seeing to his needs until he passed away shortly before Thanksgiving.
Thanks to Officer Porcello’s kind heart, a lonely veteran spent his final days feeling appreciated and loved.
Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. (John 13:34)
Jesus, help me be a friend to the lonely.