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Little Wish granted for Texas woman who paused life to care for her 'Nannie'

When her grandmother needed extra help, Paula Brown thought she’d help out for a couple of weeks. Instead, she spent the next two years as a full-time caregiver.

GARLAND, Texas — This content is sponsored by Sam Pack Auto Group. Click here to nominate someone you know for a Little Wish.

We were all taught to respect our elders.

Respecting and loving hers came easy to Paula Brown.

“My grandmother was one of a kind,” Paula said. “She loved church, loved people, and had a heart of gold.”

Velora Carolyn Yates had been a nurse more than 50 years.

But in her early 70s, she began to need a little extra care.

Paula was in her early 30s and offered to move in with her beloved "Nannie" for a couple weeks.

“I just knew I had to be there,” Paula said.

Credit: Verna Jones
Velora Carolyn Yates had been a nurse more than 50 years.

The temporary stay soon became permanent.

Paula spent two years – during a pandemic – living with her grandmother.

She cared for her, listened to her and learned from her.

“She loved to cook, so my favorite thing was getting to cook for her and trying to cook it in a way she would,” Paula said. 

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“She’d make fun of me because I always needed a recipe and she’d be like, you need a recipe for everything!”

In January, Yates contracted COVID – despite being fully vaccinated.

She died from the virus on Jan. 19.

Paula’s mother, Verna Jones, struggled with how to properly thank her daughter for the selfless devotion she showed at the end of Yates’ life.

Credit: Verna Jones

Jones nominated her daughter for a Little Wish.

“Your Little Wish from Sam Pack Auto Group includes a $2,000 Visa card to cover two-day hotel stay and a car rental, a $500 gift card to Academy for some new workout clothes, and a $1,000 gift card to At Home to freshen up your house,” Verna revealed in a video call surprising Paula with the news.

Paula was stunned.

“She’d be so happy,” she said of her grandmother.

RELATED: This Texas oncology nurse continued to treat patients even after her own cancer diagnosis. Now she's being gifted a 'Little Wish' for her caring heart

“I haven’t had a vacation in seven years,” she said. “I am most excited about that.”

Verna told Paula her Nannie felt unconditionally loved for the final two years of her life.

“You made your world her world,” Verna said. “Your purpose going forward is to just love Paula and be Paula.”

“From the bottom of my heart, I appreciate you baby,” Verna told her daughter.

If you know someone who deserves a Little Wish, nominate them at wfaa.com/littlewishes.

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