Woman finds out her late landlord of 23-years gifted her the home she had been renting


Jun. 13 2024, Published 12:19 p.m. ET

Jane Sayner, a 74-year-old resident of Melbourne, experienced a life-changing surprise when John Perrett, her landlord of 23 years, decided to leave her his property.

Perrett, known for his charitable and philanthropic nature, made this generous bequest shortly before his death in September 2020 and 86.

Throughout his life, Perrett was not only a pharmacist and football player but also a property investor who amassed a significant fortune. But perhaps what's more impressive are charitable contributions he made throughout his life, including a substantial donation of $19.6 million to the Royal Melbourne Hospital's nephrology department. This donation was a token of gratitude for a life-saving kidney transplant he had received decades earlier.

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Though Sayner had known of her landlord's generosity, the unexpected gift left her stunned. “(I) still sometimes think, 'Did this really happen'?" she said, recalling the moment she was informed about the deed transfer.

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Living in a two-bedroom unit in St Albans, Sayner enjoys a quiet life, tending to her garden. It's a lifestyle she shares gratitude for every day. "I thank him still, every day of my life … just privately, I say, 'Thanks, John,'" Sayner shared.

Sayner also recalled how, despite the amount he would spend on others, Perrett preferred a more modest lifestyle for himself. “[John] had this old, old television with a green picture," Sayner said fondly, "and it had this hum in it, and for years, we would sit there, and I’d say, ‘John, you would really appreciate the cricket more if you could see it properly.’”

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The Royal Melbourne Hospital plans to honor Perrett's memory with commemorative plaques recognizing his significant contributions to the community and healthcare. Professor Nigel Toussiant noted the transformative impact it would have on the nephrology department, saying, “That kidney transplant lasted 30-plus years and it was still functioning when he passed away in his mid-80s. That was a life-saving gift, I guess, to take him off dialysis and he was obviously grateful for the care that he received, for all the doctors and nursing and medical staff to look after him at the Royal Melbourne Hospital."

Sayner’s story is a poignant reminder of how one individual's actions can leave a lasting legacy, touching lives in profound and meaningful ways.

This article was written with assistance from artificial intelligence. Megaphone creates content primarily driven by people but aims for full transparency in how our storytelling is produced. To learn more about our policy on artificial intelligence, click here.


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