As promised, Olympian brings home gold to mom battling Alzheimer’s

Updated Aug 19, 2016

Before leaving for the Olympic games in Rio, Jeff Henderson promised his sick mother that he would bring home the gold for her.

This week, he fulfilled that promise.

Henderson, 27, of McAlmont, Arkansas won gold in the long jump by just one centimeter.

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He returned home this week and showed off his gold medal to his mom, Debra, who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease, KARK reports.

“I want to put the medal on your head,” Henderson told his mom, “but I don’t want to hurt you.”

Doctors told the family Debra is in the final stages of Alzheimer’s. Though she can no longer speak, the family says he’s proud of her son.

“When she sees him, she just follows him,” Jeff’s dad Laverne Henderson told KARK.

Jeff posted a photo to Instagram showing the gold medal laid out on his mom’s bed, on top of the American flag. The photo went viral, getting more than 2,700 likes.