15. How Far Would You Go for the One You Loved?
When it comes to love, it knows no boundaries. For most, it is unconditional, and going to the ends of the earth for your respective partner is not a question. For one Swedish woman, she would face the ultimate test when her new lover’s son was brutally mugged.
Could she sacrifice her financial security for a budding romance, and a young man in need?
14. The Divorce and New Possibilities
For Maria Grette, divorce never crossed her mind. Unfortunately, at the age of 62, her marriage fell apart in the most traumatic of fashions. Alone, and wondering if she would ever find love again, Maria tried to focus her energy on a career as an art teacher. She also took up painting and worked as a part-time therapist.
However, despite the distractions, Maria still longed for companionship.
13. Adventures in Online Dating
Not having luck meeting a man in her daily travels, Maria decided to take the plunge and enter the world of online dating. While she had closed off herself to the possibility of ever loving again, something deep inside urged Maria to give it one last shot. After a few of her girlfriends assisted with setting up a profile, all Maria could do was wait and see.
Would anyone give Maria a second shot at happiness?
12. Catching Her Eye
Messages began to pour into her inbox almost immediately, but an apprehensive Maria decided not to look at them. However, after a week or two, she had a strong urge to finally check them out to see what types of men were responding to her profile.
Sorting through her plethora of messages, Maria noticed one message that stood out from the pack. Could this be the man of her dreams?
11. A Budding Romance Begins
The message was from a Danish man named Johnny who had grown up in South Carolina and was working as a civil engineer in England. At 58-years-old, he was a widower looking for love in all the wrong places. Maria was intrigued by his story, learning about his son who lived in Manchester and his decision to retire in Sweden .
For Maria it all seemed too good to be true!
10. Making Plans for the Future
As time passed, the conversations between Maria and Johnny progressed to phone calls. Maria knew she was beginning to fall for the man she had yet to meet in person, and they both decided it was time to make plans to meet and see where their relationship could go. But first, Johnny needed to take a short trip to Nigeria with his son.
Unfortunately, things didn’t go according to plan.
9. One Fateful Call from Nigeria
Maria was excited about the prospect of meeting Johnny and his son, but sadly she received a phone call that would shatter her entire world. Calling from a hospital in Largos, Nigeria, Johnny told Maria they had been viciously mugged. With Nick in critical condition, and no bank branches in Africa, Johnny couldn’t pay for his treatment.
8. A Mugging Gone Wrong
Maria was devastated. She had true feelings for this man and was already beginning to think of herself as a future stepmother. The thought of Nick lying helpless in a strange country was almost too much for her heart to handle.
Could Maria be Nick’s light at the end of a dark tunnel?
7. You’re My Only Hope
“Honey, I am happy to hear from you and I am still at the hospital,” Johnny told Maria over the phone. “The doctor said we were lucky we were not kidnapped. The bank does not have a location in Africa, so it will take time to get money and the management are requesting 1000 euros to proceed with treatment. Nick is all I have got and I will not forgive myself if anything happens to him. I am confused, and I do not know where to turn at the moment…” According to Maria, she knew what she had to do…
6. Transferring Money in the Name of Love
Realizing it could take days for a proper bank transfer to go through, Maria decided that she would help Johnny so Nick’s treatment could begin immediately. Rushing to the local Western Union, Maria transferred 1,000 euros to Johnny’s account in Nigeria.
Praying the money would be enough to save his son, Maria waited with bated breath for an update from Johnny.
5. Something is Definitely Not Right
Unfortunately, there were complications with Nick’s treatment and the hospital demanded more money to continue his procedures. After transferring thousands of dollars, Maria began to think something was off about the entire situation.
Is it possible Johnny wasn’t who she believed him to be?
4. A Complete and Utter Scam
Sadly, much to Maria’s dismay, she came to the realization that she had fallen for an elaborate scam. Johnny continued to message her regarding funds, but heartbroken she ignored his calls.
It would be almost a month later when one phone call would change her perception of everything.
3. Months Later…the Confession
On the other end of the phone was a 24-year-old Nigerian man who admitted to making up the “Johnny” persona and scamming her out of thousands. Of course, Maria already knew this, but something about his story touched her heart. Not only was he apologetic, but he admitted he only turned to such shady practices because he didn’t have enough money to attend a university.
Could Maria find it in her heart to forgive him?
2. Meeting in Nigeria
Despite being scammed, both Maria and the young Nigerian man confessed the connection they had was very real. Maria had the strong desire to meet him, and decided to fly to Nigeria. According to Maria when she met him at the airport, he was in tears, and it felt i like they had been friends their whole lives.
You won’t believe what happens next.
1. Inspired to Help Others Be Better
While on her trip, Maria and “Johnny” developed a very strong bond. He even introduced her to other scammers he knew. It inspired Maria to want to help. She couldn’t stand by while healthy young men fell into such a scheme.
It would be several years later when Maria developed a program for young African artists, providing experience and international grants and funding. According to Maria, Johnny gave her more than he ever took–a new lease on life.