Tuesday, October 13, 2009
By Rucks Russell / 11 News
HOUSTON—A cancer patient in the last throws of fighting her disease is now fighting to keep her power on, and believes without it she will die.
“I’m fighting for my life and I thought people at the power company would help me,” said Mable Randon, who’s confined to a wheelchair and an electrically-powered oxygen machine.
Randon received a cutoff notice after falling behind on her bills. So she applied to CenterPoint Energy’s “Critical Care Program”, which tries to maintain service for people who depend on electrically-powered life support systems.
“I just thought they’d make some kind of exception for me,” she said.
But CenterPoint rejected her application saying she failed to meet the criteria.
Alicia Dixon, a CenterPoint spokesperson, said Randon could have purchased a battery-powered alternative oxygen machine. She also said the critical customer care program has thousands of applicants, and only 300 of them have been accepted.
“This program is a communication program, not a guarantee of uninterrupted power, even to customers who are on the list,” Dixon said.
The explanation is hard to digest to a cancer patient struggling for breath and life.
“They have no consideration for life. It’s just like they don’t care,” said Randon.