He Posted A Photo On Facebook. After 40 Years, He Finally Found HER! Amazing!

by Caroline Bayard
This writer is a New Yorker with wanderlust. She loves good food, music, the beach, and storytelling.

Here at LittleThings, we’ve seen countless examples of how showing a stranger just a small amount of kindness can make a world of difference in their life.

The truth is there are plenty of people who put on a happy face but are hurting badly on the inside. There’s no denying that showing others kindness can have a rolling effect, like in this heartwarming video.

Forty years ago, a young nurse showed kindness to Gary Bentley while he was in the hospital. He was 10 years old at the time and he says this was the first time anyone showed him love in his entire life. Gary came from a broken home and was taken away from his alcoholic parents along with his six siblings. Imagine this — Gary stayed in three different foster homes and survived a house fire before a doctor discovered he had a hole in his heart and would need dangerous open heart surgery.

That’s when Kathy Henricks, who was only a few months from finishing nursing school, cared for Gary. “She went way beyond the duty of a nurse, with her smile,” Gary told “I looked forward to it every day… I cried when they took me off her floor.”

However, Kathy had no idea at the time what she had really done for this little boy. Fast-forward to a few weeks ago and Gary and his wife, Gwen, found the photo below of Kathy and Gary after the surgery. He instantly knew he wanted to find her and thank her, so the Bentleys posted the photo on Facebook and, after a few days, their story was covered by local news.

In the following video, we see Gary, who says he is a motivational humorist, turtle farmer, and exporter on LinkedIn, and Kathy, who is still a nurse, reunite for the first time since his surgery. I don’t know about you, but amazing reunion stories like Gary’s and this man’s reunion with the cop who saved his life never get old to me.

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Gary Bentley, 10, and Kathy Henricks after his open-heart surgery at UAB Hospital in 1973.

Gary Bentley, 10, and Kathy Henricks after his open-heart surgery at UAB Hospital in 1973.

Gary posted this message with the photo on Facebook:

I would just like to update you all on my contact with Nurse Kathy. I have not seen her or talked to her in over 40 years. I can tell by her emails that she is still the same sweet person I met years ago. She is so nice, she finds it hard to believe her kindness touched so many people. There is a story about the little boy in the picture, but not this story. This story is about the sweet young nurse many years ago. Now I can’t remember what the gifts she gave me were. What I remember clearly are the smiles and kind words she brought me every day. She shared her heart and time with that little boy, knowing he had nothing to give in return. I look forward to meeting her tomorrow.”

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