Woman whose rat-infested home inspired many good Samaritans dies at age 93

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Her story inspired good Samaritans to lend a helping hand. Now they're remembering the spirited woman who inspired them (KTRK)

Her story touched good Samaritans from all over the Houston area to lend a helping hand. One day after her death, those who came forward to help the elderly woman are remembering her for inspiring them.

In December of last year, ABC-13 introduced you to a feisty 93-years young Italian woman known as "Miss Ana." We showed her a giant, pesky problem that she had: rats invaded her home by the hundreds. They could be seen in her living room when she would feed her blind dog named Babe.

"She's a sweet lady that deserved kindness," said Chris Carver, owner of Texan Pest.

Carver, who donated his pest control service, said more than 500 rats were killed inside and out of the southeast Houston home.

"It was like a miracle for her," said one neighbor.

The random act of kindness was met with unspeakable gratitude.

"Thank you, thank you, thank you, with all my heart," she said in January.

"It was just like having your grandma giving you a hug and just squeeze real tight. That's what that meant. I had my grandma again for that much," said Carver.

But the work was far from over. A construction company came forward and donated materials and services to patch the holes the rats carted on the inside and out of the home. Workers re-sided Miss Ana's home, gave her a new roof and began replacing parts inside her home. Then, a setback: Miss Ana fell and broke her hip. The work temporary stopped.

"I started to come to feed her dog every day after school," said one neighbor.

Neighbors pitched in to take care of Miss Ana in hopes her speedy recovery would get the remodel back on track. After nearly a month away from her home, she finally came back. The work almost done, and then Monday morning, Miss Ana, left for good.

"When my dad told me the news, I could not believe it. It was sad. It was a sad day yesterday," said one neighbor. "She's like my hero for me."

It was true for everyone who she called a friend. She was certainly ours.

Miss Ana's dog babe was taken in by a close friend. Miss Ana has only one living relative, a nephew in Italy. No one has been able to reach him thus far. Legally, he is the heir to her home and belongings if he can be reached. Funeral services can't be planned right now until he has been contacted.
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