Rich Man Leaves Behind $300M Mansion While His Daughter Sleeps on the Ground in Severe Cold — Story of the Day

Sonali Bharadwaj
Nov 20, 2021
05:00 P.M.

Derek Bernard made headlines when he left behind his $300M mansion while his daughter Carla slept on the ground in the cold. Everyone mocked the wealthy man for abandoning his daughter and felt sorry for Carla, but one of them knew things about Carla that no one else did, and Carla would soon find out who this person was.


Derek Bernard just had a few cents with him when he first came to New York City. He was orphaned at a young age, and his grandparents had left for their heavenly adobe as he turned 13, leaving him all alone.

Life in New York was difficult, and Derek had to rely on his grandparents' savings for a long time. Then he worked a few part-time jobs, saved money for years, and gradually launched his own company.

For the first few years, he struggled to get people to invest in his company, but everything worked out in the end, and he was doing well. Almost ten years later, he had expanded his company beyond the United States, and rowing millions of dollars appeared to be a simple task.

Carla was homeless | Photo: Shutterstock

Carla was homeless | Photo: Shutterstock


However, it didn't take long for all that money to go to Derek's head, and he started looking down on people and treating them like his slaves, including his wife, Elena. "A child?! Did you say you're pregnant? Are you out of your mind, Elena?" he lashed out at her when he learned of his wife's pregnancy.

"But I thought you wanted to become a father, honey," Elena said, perplexed by Derek's outrage.

"I want to, but not right now! I told you to take precautions, Elena! I don't care, you'll have to get rid of the child!"

"But honey, I want to have this baby. Please!"

Derek glared at Elena and took a step forward. "Since when did you start answering me back, Elena? Did you forget your real place? You were only a third-rate waitress. I brought you from that shambles to this gleaming empire. So if I say something, you must obey, understand?"

"No, Derek! Not this time! I won't terminate the pregnancy because of you!"

Derek was furious about Elena's pregnancy | Photo: Pexels

Derek was furious about Elena's pregnancy | Photo: Pexels


"Ahh, I should have just thrown you out after spending a few nights with you! It's okay; it's not too late. Pack your luggage and get the hell out!"

"Derek?! Are you out of your mind? You know I don't have anyone except you! How can you be so cruel?"

"I don't want people around me who don't know where they belong! So hurry up and leave! Otherwise, apologize to me, get rid of that child, and stay here. It's up to you!"

Four weeks pregnant at the time, Elena made a decision and left the house, determined to show Derek that she could care for her child on her own. But fate had other plans, and she died shortly after giving birth.

Catherine, the nurse present during Elena's delivery, named the child Carla and placed her in a nursing home. She also paid frequent visits to the home to check on her and make sure she was okay.

Carla was transferred to a nursing home after her mom died | Photo: Shutterstock

Carla was transferred to a nursing home after her mom died | Photo: Shutterstock


However, as Carla grew up, she became curious about everything. She started asking Catherine about her birth parents and how she ended up in a nursing home. Catherine told her everything about Elena and how she died, including that Elena never mentioned her husband.

Carla, who was ten at the time, believed Catherine was concealing information about her father and fled the nursing home in search of him and the truth. Years went by, and she kept wandering the streets, thinking one day that she'd find her biological father, but when she did, it was already too late.

It was a regular wintry evening, and Carla was spreading newspaper on the ground to make her bed. After running from the orphanage, she was homeless and jobless because nobody was ready to hire her. Then she met Josh, the owner of a small newspaper and magazine shop on Park Avenue, who hired her out of pity.

Needless to say, the money she earned from that job was insufficient to cover even one meal a day, so owning a home and paying rent was a distant dream. Hence, Carla ended up living on the streets.

Carla spotted her picture in a newspaper | Photo: Pexels

Carla spotted her picture in a newspaper | Photo: Pexels


Her gaze was drawn to a picture printed on the first page of the newspaper as she held it in her hand to spread it that day. The caption read, "Millionaire leaves behind a $300 million mansion, but his daughter sleeps on the ground in the cold."

Carla quickly dusted the paper, and when she looked at the picture more closely, she couldn't believe her eyes! It was her picture, sleeping in the alley beside the shop, and next to it was Derek's. So this man is my father! And, wow, he's dead!

Carla folded the paper and threw it in the trash, believing she'd never learn the truth about her family. However, while she was sleeping, her mind wandered to that article. Wait a minute; there was a journalist's name on that piece: Erica Fisher. How did she track me down? Is it possible she knows more about my family than I do? Perhaps I should meet her!

The next day, Carla went to her office to meet her, but when the guards saw a shabbily dressed teen attempting to enter a reputable media organization, they stopped her at the gate. "Hey, girl! Where are you going? Do you know someone here?"

Carla met Erica Fisher | Photo: Pexels

Carla met Erica Fisher | Photo: Pexels


"I came to meet Erica Fisher. I wanted to consult her regarding an article."

"Do you have an appointment with her?"

"No, but I need to meet her urgently. Please let me in!"

"Sorry, but we can't do that! You need to leave!"

"But—" Carla tried requesting the guard to allow her, but all her pleas fell on deaf ears. Dejected, the young woman prepared to leave, but just then, a voice from behind stopped her. "Carla Barnard? Is that really you?" Carla turned around to see a woman in her forties standing there. She was wearing glasses and holding a notepad.

"Erica Fisher? Are you the one who wrote that article about me?"

Erica smiled at her. "Want to have some coffee first? I feel like there's a lot you need to know."

Erica offered coffee to Carla | Photo: Pexels

Erica offered coffee to Carla | Photo: Pexels


When Carla learned the whole story from Erica, she couldn't believe her ears! "Did my father really abandon my pregnant mother?"

"You're right, Carla! Not only that, but your father had a slew of mistresses. Your father rose to fame in the industry far too quickly, and he inevitably faced a slew of competitors. One of them sent us information about your family, and when we started looking into it, we discovered it was all true!"

"Then why didn't you guys help my mother? She died because of YOU!"

"No, Carla. We only found out about it after your mother died. We approached the hospital administration, but they refused to tell us where you were. I've been looking for you for a long time. Like you, my father abandoned my mother and I when I was young, and when I learned about you, I wanted to help you."

Carla's eyes welled up with tears. "I can't believe all of this happened to me! What should I do now? I was hoping I'd find my father, and he'd accept me. But I have nowhere to go now!"

Carla received $1 million through Erica's help | Photo: Pexels

Carla received $1 million through Erica's help | Photo: Pexels


"Don't worry, Carla, I have something for you." Erica handed her a cheque worth $1 million. "I immediately started a GoFundMe page for you after publishing that article. Thankfully, thousands of volunteers stepped forward to assist you, so you don't have to worry too much. We were able to raise this amount in just three days! I hope this helps!"

Carla's eyes widened. "One million dollars! But what am I going to do with all of this money? I mean, I do require assistance, but this is too much for me."

"How about finishing your education and assisting the woman who cared for you until you escaped from the nursing home? She was, after all, nothing less than a mother to you. I believe her name is Catherine Davis, correct?" Erica smiled at Carla as she stood up to leave.

What can we learn from this story?

  • Learn to be kind and help others. When Erica found out about Carla, she decided to assist the homeless woman.
  • Help can sometimes come from unexpected places. Carla had convinced herself that she would never learn the truth about her family. But then she met Erica, who told her the truth about her family and helped her financially.

If you enjoyed this story, you might like this one about a man who divorces his wife after 53 years of marriage and spots her in a cafe with another man.

This account is inspired by our reader's story and written by a professional writer. Any resemblance to actual names or locations is purely coincidental. All images are for illustration purposes only. Share your story with us; maybe it will change someone's life. If you would like to share your story, please send it to info@amomama.com.

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