by: Jared Leone, Cox Media Group National Content Desk
HOLLAND, Mich. – Adrian Van Nieuwland called in the same order — medium three cheeser pleaser with butter cheese crust — sometimes a few times a week.
It was like that for years.
“He had one order and that was his order every time,” Hungry Howie’s assistant general manager Amanda Ortiz told WXMI. “When it popped up on the screen you knew Adrian ordered.”
When the pizza shop had not made his order toward the end of May, they became alarmed and visited Van Nieuwland’s house, according to WLOX.
They found him lying on the kitchen floor. He was alive but he had been unable to get up for days. His cell phone was dead. Van Nieuwland was taken to the hospital where the employees visited him a few hours later.
“He seemed to be doing great,” Ortiz told WXMI. “We joked around. I gave him the gift card and said ‘you’re probably hungry.’”
However, Van Nieuwland died Friday. Doctors found an infection and he elected not to have surgery.
“It’s tragic and my heart breaks for him,” delivery driver Gabbe Raqib said. “But if anything, I’m just happy that we stopped him from dying alone, on the floor of his house.”
The employees were thankful they could be there for the longtime customer.
“It’s more than pizza to us because our customers are our family,” Amanda Ortiz said.
“That’s our family.”