But today her outlook improved dramatically when an ABC11 viewer presented her with a check for $200 - the amount of cash in her purse.
John Picone showed up at Zebulon Police Headquarters this morning check in hand.
Picone saw ABC11's story last week about how the woman and her husband, also 90, were at the post office when a man opened their car's passenger door and took her purse.
After giving the couple the check, Picone told ABC11 that he and his wife Margaret, "Felt obligated to just try to heal the wound and make them better."
He added, "And then one of my clients threw another $40 in the envelope. So I hope they go shopping and have a great day."
The check for $200 and $40 in cash are a blessing according to the couple who agreed to talk to ABC11 on the condition they not be identified.
"Just glad to know that we're living in a community that has people like this--that are not just thinking of themselves. They put themselves in our place, and they're just so great," the husband said.
His wife noted that over their 67 years of marriage they have tried to help others in need any way they can.
But in their 90s making ends meet is becoming more difficult and having $200 in cash stolen was very upsetting.
"This was just an amazing thing, miracle that's happening to us. Money doesn't come our way like that," the wife said.
Other ABC11 viewers have also pledged to help the couple. Plus, Zebulon's police chief said even more people have reached out to them.
Picone doesn't mind at all that the couple may end up with more money than they lost.
"I think they're entitled to all they get. They just seem like good people that didn't deserve what happened."