92-Year-Old Hospice Patient Was Unresponsive Until Surprise Visit From Teen Pen Pal

Good Morning America

It’s true that there is nothing as powerful as the written word.

Keslar Just was just a teen when the COVID-19 pandemic hit but wanted to use her sudden free time to do something that made a difference. So, she began to write letters to seniors who were quarantined to their nursing homes. However, there was just one person who responded back to her.

“I ended up writing over 150 letters, and only one responded, and that was Jean Peck in Henrietta, New York,” Just said. Peck is 92 years old.

Of course, Just had to respond back. And then Peck responded back. The two became pen pals and friends, sharing bouts of their lives with each other over the course of two years.

“I learned she is a big swimmer, played basketball and she loved to go on hikes loved the outdoors,” Just said. “We wrote pretty religiously. We had a lot to talk about.”

However, Just recently received a call from Peck’s family explaining that she was being moved to hospice care. They also let her know that she’s been unresponsive.

“I started to immediately make travel plans to go up to Henrietta, New York,” said Just, who lives in Virginia.

The two had only written letters to each other, and had never met in person. But Just knew she had to see her. And it’s a good thing she did—the moment Just told Peck who she was, she perked up and became responsive.

“I walked in and said, ‘Hello, it’s Keslar, your pen pal,’ and I started talking with her. And she slowly opened her eyes and become responsive. I just sat and talked with her,” Just said.

See what we mean? There’s nothing as powerful as the written word! It was so obvious that the two’s pen pal relationship had really impacted Peck’s life.

“I think seeing it in person when Jean reached out to hold my hand and she’s responsive and opened her eyes, I think the family was very appreciative for our relationship and our letter-writing,” Just said. “I will always remember our pen pal relationship and what those two years brought both of us.”

You’ve got to see it to believe it. In the video below, check out footage of Just and Peck’s interaction for the first time, and her becoming responsive to it.

How sweet is this story? Have you ever kept in touch with a pen pal?