Worker at a living facility steps in to be elderly man’s “daughter” during the last months of his life

Brooke O'Briant knew Mr. Hudson was special the moment she met him. But their friendship became something closer to family in the following months.


We often speak of the importance of family in the life of a person, but let’s take a second and ask ourselves, what family really is? Is it the people we are related by blood, or the people we can rely on when we feel down and feel like our world is collapsing? I would say the latter, and the story of Brooke O’Briant says the same.

Brooke shared a story with Love What Matters and spoke how she stepped in for the role of a daughter for an elderly man named Mr. Nathaniel Hudson. Namely, Brooke does the marketing at North River Village Assisted Living and on 21st of December 2018 she was asked to go and pick Mr. Hudson up and bring him to the facility so that he could check it out. There, she noticed how tiny this man’s apartment was and something told her that she should never leave this elderly’s side.

The day at the facility was a fun one. Mr. Hudson saw his potential new home and the two even attended a Christmas party where they danced together.

But in next couple of days, Mr. Hudson’s health deteriorated and he was admitted at the hospital where he stayed for a while. Then, on April 5, 2019, Mr. Hudson finally arrived at the facility where Brooke worked.

“I felt so good knowing he was in a safe, clean place with three meals a day, nurses making sure he took his medications, and new friendships to lift his spirits. Over the following 12 months, Mr. Hudson and I became close buddies. He didn’t have any family in the picture, so I gladly stepped up to be a daughter to him.”

Brooke helped Mr. Hudson with a lot of things such as his mail, his errands, doctor’s appointments, dry cleaning bills, and a lot more. She said that this man became a part of her family.

“He went to church with my family and was around my kiddos many times. He proudly told everyone he saw at church that day that I was his daughter. It melted my heart. I was so proud to hold onto his arm throughout worship and the sermon. He danced at his seat that day and everyone around him enjoyed it.”

Unfortunately, at the beginning of 2020, Mr. Hudson started feeling very ill and was soon diagnosed with cancer. That broke Brooke’s heart who loved him as his father. Mr. Hudson loved her back and he didn’t want to make any decisions without her.

“During a hospital stay the staff started asking him questions about nursing homes and end of life care and he said, ‘I’m not making any decisions without Brooke.’ In another nurse’s note, he said, ‘Brooke is my everything.’ Since Mr. Hudson had officially discharged from the facility and was going to a nursing home, he made me his power of attorney. I was honored and humbled to represent him.”

In April, Mr. Hudson passed away, but he left this world knowing he was loved and cared for. Brooke was happy she made a change in the elderly man’s life.