John and Stella Chhan ran their doughnut shop in California together for more than 30 years, until the wife suffered an aneurysm in September.
Stella was moved to a rehab facility where she could recover. John told ABC News:
“She did not open her eyes for 10 days. She only touched my hand lightly when she was half-awake.”
It wasn’t long before loyal customers of Donut City noticed Stella wasn’t working alongside her husband.
And once they found out why, the close-knit community knew they needed to help.
Since the community found out about Stella’s illness, they have been buying out John’s stock of doughnuts early each day so that he has time to stay by his wife’s side. John said:
“[They’re buying] one or two dozen doughnuts for their friends and relatives. Before they [would buy] one, two or three donuts.”
Most days, John’s stock of doughnuts sells out quickly.
One customer outside the store enthusiastically told CBSLA:
“Hey come and support this guy’s donuts. He’s a great man, great cause.”
Support for the cause grew when customers posted about Stella’s illness online, ABC News reports.
John declined to let customers set up a GoFundMe account to raise money for him, but is thankful for his community’s help.
“I would like to thank neighbors in the community who helped me since my wife fell sick. The community has been helping me and supporting me.”
Stella is still working to recover from her illness and is making some progress, John said:
“She can talk, she can write. Right now she’s trying to start … eat something.”
Thankfully, John will be able to spend more time by Stella’s side as she works to heal — in part due to his supportive community.