88-year-old goes viral sharing walk with great-granddaughter in heartwarming video
"It's really special, seeing the bond that they have."
At 88, Jeri Giles is staying active by using a walker to get around. It just so happens it's also a great tool for his 14-month-old great-granddaughter Ocean, too.
The duo has been ambling together since December, and now a 14-second TikTok video of them, shared by Ocean's mom Brianna Dukz, has gone viral with 3 million views.
"[In the video] it was early March but they've been doing that since Christmas time, when she started walking," Dukz told "Good Morning America."
"Now, it's become a habit. She can fully walk on her own but if my grandpa is there and his walker is there, she is going to be in between it, walking with him," she continued.
Dukz, her husband Daisuke and Ocean live near Dukz's grandparents and mother in San Diego, so it's no surprise Ocean and her great-grandfather share a close relationship.
"My grandpa definitely didn't think that he would live long enough to meet her, let alone have a good amount of quality time with her. So it's really special seeing the bond that they have," Dukz said. "She'll go back into his little den and she'll dance in front of him and try and take his snacks and play with the dogs and they'll go on walks all the time. It's super cute."
Dukz said Ocean's walks at her great-grandfather's house mirror those she once took as a young girl herself.
"My first steps were right in front of their sofa, which is a similar area to where I recorded the video," she said. "I have a lot of home videos from when I was a baby and … it's pretty crazy to look back on those videos and then see similar experiences between him and my daughter. It's really special."
Dukz said it's important to her to record the everyday memories that her "papa" Jeri and daughter Ocean share with each other.
"I record them, like everything they do, just because he's so old and if anything were to happen and she doesn't remember him the way that I do, I want her to be able to look back," the 24-year-old mom said. "She can look back and see what their relationship was like, what their bond was like and that they were a part of her life before she was able to remember. So I have a lot of videos of her and her great-grandparents."
Dukz added that her grandfather is just as enthusiastic about spending time with Ocean too.
"He just always says, like, how crazy it is that he gets to be a great-grandpa and how special it is," she said.
Editor's note: This was originally published on April 14, 2023.
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