Andreas Graf used all of his paid time off in the beginning of last year in order to care for his son battling leukemia.
When the three-year-old, Julius, was finally well enough to return to their home in Germany, Andreas’ wife suddenly died of heart disease, according to The Independent.
Not only was he struggling to help his son through cancer, but he was now grieving his wife as well. And having used up all his vacation days, the now widowed father worried that he’d lose his job as well.
His co-workers however, were not going to let that happen. Pia Meier, the company’s human resources manager, reached out to the other workers at the company, asking them to donate their overtime to Andreas.
And, in a miraculous show of generosity and selflessness, all 650 workers volunteered. Some had never even met Andreas.
In all, the workers raised 3,264.5 hours for Andreas, which totals to 81.6 weeks. The grieving father was able to take over 18 months of paid leave to care for his son. Andreas said:
“At first I was speechless, could not say anything. I cried in front of friends and was completely overwhelmed.
Without this tremendous help, I would’ve been out of a job by now.”
Now five years old, Julius is headed back to nursery school, while Andreas has returned to working part time as an assembly worker.
Although Julius is on the road to recovery, he must be cancer free for five years in order to considered completely well.
Life for Andreas may continue to be tricky moving forward, but he has the continued support from his coworkers and community.