Grandma Who Accidentally Invited a Stranger to Thanksgiving Has Tested Positive

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Wanda Dench, the kind-hearted grandmother who went viral for accidentally inviting a stranger to Thanksgiving back in 2016, has reportedly caught coronavirus.

Keep scrolling to read the full story of Wanda and Jamal, and to read her most recent, yet slightly worrying, health update…

We all remember hearing the heartwarming story of Jamal Hinton and Wanda Dench, who came into contact as a total accident at Thanksgiving.

And is a time for good food, family, friends, and laughter.

And we all know that the feast is the highlight.

Roast turkey, stuffing, cornbread, green bean casserole, pumpkin pie… what’s not to love?

And, while most choose to celebrate with their closest friends and family members, others open their homes to strangers too.

You may remember that the then-teenage Jamal went viral for a cell phone number mishap that brought him and a complete stranger together for the holidays.  

But, instead, she actually texted Jamal.

And, when Jamal replied asking who was texting him, Wanda innocently and hilariously replied, “Your grandma.”

Hinton then responded by asking for a photo to see if it was his own grandma behind the text.

But he was left shocked when the picture that came in was of a woman with blonde hair and glasses – Certainly not Jamal’s grandma.

“[You’re] not my grandma,” Jamal replied with a laughing emoji.


Hinton from Phoenix, Arizona, sent back a selfie to let her know he was not her grandson.

And, clearly touched by the sweet text-message exchange, he asked if he could stop by for dinner anyway.

People loved Dench’s promise that Hinton could still come around for Thanksgiving dinner because “that’s what grandmas do… feed everyone.” And although Dench changed her phone number after receiving a flood of messages from people amused by the exchange, Hinton kept in touch with the family following the initial texts.

Dench said Hinton had indeed come over for Thanksgiving dinner, making the drive to Mesa, Arizona, and that it was destiny that the two met.

The pair decided to make a tradition out of the mishap, and have spent Thanksgiving together for the last 4 years.

And every year, Twitter is blessed with a photo of Hinton and Dench enjoying Thanksgiving together.

Dench explained in the video that she grew up in the military – her father was in the Navy and her husband was also in the Army. “We moved around a lot so I was always going to new places. And so strangers were not strangers to me,” she explained. “Family is more than blood, it’s the people you want to be with.”

And they are showing no signs of breaking their tradition.

Wanda and her husband were invited to spend Thanksgiving at Hinton’s girlfriend, Mikaela’s, Aunt Tauna’s house.

“[Wanda] is a really good person,” Hinton explained to Good Morning America. “I really enjoy the time I spend with her.”

It is the most heartwarming thing.

But now, Hinton has come forward with some devastating news.

And, according to Hinton, Wanda is currently in hospital with both the respiratory virus and pneumonia.

Where he wrote: “I am so sad to announce that Wanda and Lonnie both have COVID-19 and that Lonnie is currently in the hospital fighting both COVID and Pneumonia please send words of love and encouragement their way.”

For more updates on the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, keep scrolling…