Woman on oxygen machine dies after power company cuts off electricity

Irving Hamilton
July 9, 2018

Daniels' oxygen tank was powered by electricity and she succumbed to her condition seven hours after power was cut off to her home, CNN reported.

The diagnosis for Linda Daniels was not good.

- A 68-year-old woman died on Friday after the machines that kept her alive were taken away.

Linda Daniels suffered from congestive heart failure and depended on her oxygen tank to survive, they said.

Desiree said she applied ice packs to her mother's sides and was fanning her throughout the day. "She suffered and she passed right in front of us. It was so hot in here, she couldn't breathe - it was unbearable". Since Linda's primary oxygen, which plugs in, didn't work, they used a smaller reserve, and when that was empty, they called EMS.

The family called emergency services, and paramedics reportedly provided a portable oxygen unit as a short-term fix.

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"One rep told me to stop calling, that there were too many tickets in the system", Desiree told ABC 13. Desiree also said, as required, her mom's medical equipment was registered with the utility company.

PSE&G has confirmed service was shut off at Daniels's residence due to a lack of payment. Per ABC 7, Daniels' balance as of May 29 was about $1,800, with at least two other payments made to pay off the bill. "In New York State, we have some of the highest electricity costs in the nation, and we need more low-income customers and communities of color represented on the Public Service Commission and involved in energy policy decision-making and regulation".

"Dangerous and unnecessary shut offs in the sweltering heat and frigid cold disproportionately impact low-income [families], the elderly and communities of color", NAACP President and CEO Cornell William Brooks said when the association's report was released past year. After the disconnection occurred and we were notified that the customer had medical issues, we began the process to reconnect the service.

Power was eventually restored to the family on July 6, the day after Daniels died. "She was the matriarch of this family - she was the glue that held everything together", said Desiree.

According to Accuweather.com, the temperature in Newark was in the 90s on Thursday afternoon. Desiree is considering legal action, but right now is focused on her mother's funeral.

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