When most people see an abandoned house, they picture an eerie, run-down structure that’s gradually being reclaimed by nature. They are often crumbling at the seams, and they give off an eerie vibe that most people don’t want anything to do with. But when urban explorers like Leslie David envision an abandoned home, they see an opportunity for adventure.

Brave explorers like Leslie will willingly venture into abandoned houses with the hopes of uncovering something strange, like a secret history or even hidden treasure that most of us would’ve otherwise assumed to be garbage.

On a recent exploration, however, Leslie found something entirely unexpected…

Leslie David is an urban explorer in Ontario, Canada who would bravely wander into abandoned houses and photograph them. During one particular excursion, Leslie came across a two-story red house that appeared to be in shambles. She wrote on Instagram that “the driveway was overgrown, the roof was caving in, and the interior would lead anyone to believe this land had been deserted.”


Leslie found a way inside the house and readied her camera to take some photos… and that’s when she came face-to-face with a man. She had no idea that someone had been living there, but luckily, he wasn’t upset. He introduced himself as Lawrence, and explained that he had trouble seeing—he had cataracts in his left eye and his right eye was missing completely.


 Leslie was startled by how sweet and kind he was, even after she essentially broke into his house. He told her about his life, along with his struggles and hardships. The two ended up talking for three hours, so Leslie decided to continue seeing Lawrence on a regular basis, giving him food and friendship.


After spending some time together, Leslie learned that a bull fractured Lawrence’s hip in 2000, which was the start of a string of injuries. Just before they met, he had suffered a stroke; he had trouble moving his hands, and it took him some time to seek the medical help he needed, which worsened the stroke’s effects.


They continued to meet for dinner dates and conversations about life. Leslie became Lawrence’s closest confidante, and as time went on, the two grew to learn a lot about one another. She even made him vegetable soup and mashed potatoes, as Leslie didn’t think Lawrence was eating much at all by himself.


Leslie decided she needed to do something more—so she helped fix up Lawrence’s house. She enlisted some volunteers, who helped her “remove his old fridge, stove, and chest freezer, along with numerous bags of garbage and other content.”

abandoned1Great Big Story / Facebook

She went on: “It’s a rare opportunity and I’m glad I was able to accept the challenge.” The house was so out of shape that, even after visiting multiple times, it amazed and saddened Leslie to see Lawrence’s life in such disarray. And because of his health complications, it was simply too hard for him to take care of himself, let alone the house.

abandoned5Great Big Story / Facebook

Cleaning up the house was a big success, and Leslie wrote that Lawrence “is in good spirits and is very happy to have some room in his home.” She said it was “all made possible by a very generous company and a few awesome boys with big hearts and strong lower backs.”


Unfortunately, Lawrence’s health started to rapidly decline, so he asked Leslie to come over to help him make funeral arrangements—just in case. Leslie appreciated being able to help him with such important matters, however sad, and said she “wouldn’t have it any other way.” Lawrence told her that the first day she showed up in his home was the “best day of his life,” and Leslie realized she couldn’t let him spend the last moments of his life alone in that house.


“After a prolonged stay in two different hospitals after his last stroke,” said Leslie, “Lawrence is now living at a local retirement home and doing much better.” Though Lawrence missed his home, he was happy to be around other people. He loved it whenever Leslie would visit, especially when she’d bring her dog, Violet, who became “a favorite around the home.”


Leslie’s mother even made Lawrence a cake for his birthday! “Happy birthday to this young fella!” Leslie wrote. She explained that she felt lucky that she met Lawrence, and that he gave her the chance to perform “an act of kindness with no expectation of a reward.”


Thanks to Leslie, Lawrence now wouldn’t ever have to worry about cleaning or trying to find people to help. Leslie really changed Lawrence’s life, and she allowed him to enjoy the last of his golden years the way he deserved to: with the help of new friends all around!

abandoned4Great Big Story / Facebook

It’s amazing that a young woman like Leslie was able to give so much time, energy, and love to a complete stranger who felt like he’d been forgotten by society. Hopefully, more people will follow Leslie’s lead!

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