Donated generators for homebound patients

By Keith Boles - bio | email feedback

CRAIGHEAD COUNTY, ARKANSAS  (KAIT) --Many seriously ill people are only able to live at home with the aid of many mechanical devices. All of the machines require electricity all the time to function.

But what happens when the power fails like during Wednesday's storms or the severe ice storms?

Then these people must turn to a generator to keep them alive.

Thanks to the generosity of others, two Region Eight men will be able feel more secure when the lights go out.

The two men don't live that far apart.

One lives outside of Bay, the other in Lake City. They both suffer from the same disease and both need a constant supply of electricity to survive.

Carol Brooks son Jeremy has Spina Bifida, he must be hooked up to several machines for most of the day. Electricity is critical to survival. "It's life or death for him. He's on a ventilator 21 hours a day. He can only be off for 3 hours a day."

20-year-old Jeremy was absorbed in a Cardinals game when David Moore, the Craighead County OEM Coordinator and I stopped by to deliver the generator.

Moore, "Bringing you a generator today just to have as an emergency back up in case you need it at any time. I just wanted you to know you have people across the state that's trying to help."

Moore says Jim Skender from the Ashley County Office of Emergency Management was the driving force behind the donated generators. Raising the funds and getting the generators distributed.

Moore, "He's the basis for all of this, to be able to come about. He has worked long and diligently on it."

Earlier we had dropped off another generator to a family outside Bay who also had a 20-year-old son suffering from Spina Bifida like Jeremy.

It is almost unimaginable how much equipment it takes to keep a person alive with this disease.

Brooks, "The ventilator an oxygen concentrator a pulse ox that manages his oxygen concentration at all times. He has a heater that humidifies the water to keep his trachea from drying out. "

During his life Jeremy has had several close calls when the power went out. During the ice storm the Lake City Fire Department " provided a generator.

Moore says the important thing about these generators is that it takes the burden off emergency services in the areas where these young people are located.

Moore, "If we know these people are prepared to take care of themselves it makes it easier on us in the long run and that's what were here about. These are an extreme case where it's a life and death situation if they lose power. So for them to have this backup emergency power is just mandatory."

Moore said that 56 generators were distributed across Arkansas' 26 counties.

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