Kia Mariah Tobin is the Thistleton Lodge careworker who went viral after presenting resident Ken Benbow with a photo of his wife, Ada, on a pillow. Amid the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, the video became a timely reminder of the important work done by careworkers across the world.
Benbow Was Married to His Wife, Ada, for 71 Years
The video shows Tobin surprising Benbow, a 94-year-old Navy veteran, with the pillow. Benbow begins to sob as he stares as the picture of his wife. According to the BBC, Tobin gave Benbow the pillow after noticing he slept with a picture of his wife, Ada, beside his bed. Ada died in August 2019, the BBC reported.
At the time of writing, the version of the video being shared by The Manc had been viewed close to 3 million times.
Thistleton Lodge is a dementia and elder care facility located in the town of Preston in the northwest of England. According to the National Health Service, there are 54 beds in the home. The original video of the presentation was uploaded to Thistleton Lodge’s Facebook page on April 18. The video’s description reads, “We know our residents are missing their loved ones at this time but let’s not forget those who sadly aren’t here with us anymore. Today, one of our lovely staff Kia Mariah Tobin gave Ken a pillow with his beloved wife on who we also cared for. Safe to say we all shed a tear with Ken today. Lots of love, your Thistleton Lodge family.”
Tobin Has Described Her Job as ‘Amazing’
As the video continued to spread across the world, Tobin tweeted, “I have such an amazing job thank you so much for your support and amazing comments.” In the wake of her viral success, Tobin appeared on Good Morning, Britain where she was interviewed by Piers Morgan on the morning of April 21. Morgan has made international news in recent days after he began to criticize President Donald Trump’s reaction to the coronavirus pandemic. Morgan, who was a contestant on The Celebrity Apprentice, had long been one of the president’s biggest supporters. Morgan has alleged that Trump has “failed the American people.”
Benbow Fought in D-Day & the Pacific Theater During World War II
In 2020, Benbow told The Lancashire Post that he served in the Navy during World War II. Benbow said he had been inspired to enlist after seeing the victims of the Dunkirk evacuation being brought through his local train station. During the war, Benbow fought on D-Day and also in the Pacific theater.
During the interview, Benbow said he left the military in 1946 and began working as a sales representative for an agricultural supply company. Benbow then moved to Garstang, just north of Preston, where he settled with Ada. Benbow retired in 1990. In March 2020, Benbow was quoted by a local radio station comparing the coronavirus lockdown to war. Benbow said, “It was tough because they were short of people on the farm so I had to work from 4.30am until 11pm at night. But we had no restrictions on what we could do and could still go about free and easy.”