Couple Using Oxygen Seeks Help After Power Cut

Posted at 10:59 PM, May 24, 2016

A Nashville couple's power was limited after falling behind on their bills, but rather than having just enough to run an medical oxygen tank, the couple said it hasn't worked ever since they lost power.

At the Jacksons' house a small fan is the loudest noise you'll hear along with an occasional song from a handheld radio.

"It runs on four batteries," said 63-year-old Wanda Jackson, holding the radio in the air, "where there's a will theres a way!" 

Jackson says she and her husband have been living without power for more than a week.

"It's been torture, it's hot. And I've had 14 different surgeries and the last one was a stroke," she said.

The couple owes more than $1600 to NES, ever since Wanda's husband lost his job for several months. And they had to prioritize bills.

"They was gonna try to foreclose me on my house so I had to pay them," she said.

Wanda uses oxygen for her COPD.

NES says when techs cut the Jacksons' power they set the meter to allow enough power for Wanda to operate her tank.

Except she showed NewsChannel 5 the tank doesn't operate.

"When you turn it on nothing is happening , nothing," Wanda said, demonstrating.

With her emergency inhaler close she's reached out to everyone she thought could help.

"We regret to inform you that your application cannot be approved," she read one response that cited a question about her paperwork.

Wanda says despite several phone calls she's gotten nowhere with NES. 

So, for now, the noises in Wanda's house continue to come from batteries only. But she's holding out hope the silence from those who can help ends soon.

"I just want my lights back on. That's all I want. My lights back on," she said.

An NES spokesperson told NewsChannel 5 she's not sure why the oxygen isn't working.

But she said she would have an advisor call the Jacksons to make sure they finally connect. Because they offer programs for people who can't afford their bills.


UPDATE: After this story aired an NES spokesperson said the Jacksons' meter was tripped and needed to be reset in order to get enough power to the oxygen tank. A technician has since fixed the problem, allowing enough power for the medical device only.