A twist of fate and a broken elevator brought Rita Young and Cesar Larios together.
Young, 79, had just made her way to an elevator at Grand Court Tampa, a senior living facility on Bayshore Boulevard, one night about three weeks ago. Larios, an employee with Tampa-based College Hunks Hauling Junk working a job at Rita's building, arrived at the same elevator at the same time.
Shortly after the doors shut, the elevator broke down.
"The young man saw I was upset," Young said, admitting she was starting to have a panic attack. "He put his arm around me and said, 'now don't get upset.' He said, 'I'm here and I'm going to take care of you.'"
A picture taken after the doors opened that went viral Wednesday captures the simple, yet amazing, act of kindness that happened next.
Larios, 23, offered his back so an elderly stranger could get off her feet, effectively turning himself into a human chair.
"He said, 'I'll get down on all fours,' and he said, 'you can sit on my back,'" Young said.
"I didn't think twice. She was kind of hesitant about it," Larios added.
Young, who has trouble walking and breathing, realized she had no choice but to accept the offer.
"She kind of started putting her weight on my back little by little and then after a few seconds she was just, like, chilling on my back," Larios told Fox 13.
The two sat in the same position as they waited for firefighters for 30 minutes. The picture shows the smile on Young's face, but her appreciation goes much deeper.
"His mom, she should be very proud to have raised a son that would do something like that because to an old lady, it's so hard to adjust to being older," she said. "I do consider him my special angel."
Young said she never got the chance to properly thank her hero, something she hopes to eventually do.
"I would one day like to shake his hand and tell him thank you very much for keeping me calm," she said.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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