News 12 at 6 o' clock / Tuesday, April 23, 2013
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- An Augusta woman has been sitting in the dark for the past month after her power was cut off, but it's about a lot more than the lights for her.
Generia Morton relies on several machines to keep her alive.
"I need this concentrator, I need my ventilator to sleep at night," she said.
Power at her house is about a lot more than just comfort for her husband, Robert.
"That's what keeps her living, power," he said.
But on March 19, Georgia Power pulled the plug.
"They contacted me Feb. 19 saying they got a fax from a doctor saying that I didn't need the life support anymore," Morton said.
Her doctors at University Hospital say they did send a letter to Georgia Power, but it was a letter telling them she needed the power for her machines.
The fight to get her power back on has been stressful for Generia.
"It's been bad on my health," she said.
Generia says she pays what she can on her bill every month, but they have gotten way behind on payments.
"With me going in the hospital, three months at a time, when I get out, all my bills are behind, nobody paying any of them, so when I do get out, I'm trying to catch up, paying every bill," Generia said.
Over time, with late fees, the bill has climbed to more than $3,000.
"Eventually we'll catch it up, once we get on track, we can catch it up," Robert said.
Robert had to quit his job to take care of his wife full time. They've been sweethearts since the sixth grade.
"I'm not going to leave here and come back, and when I come back seeing her not responding, then, I don't know what I'd do," he said.
They've reached out to several nonprofits to help pay the power bill, but a kind neighbor has been the true savior the past month.
Their neighbor has been running a power cord from her house to theirs. Everything they need is operating off of one cord.
"My husband cooks there, my ventilator runs from it, my oxygen runs from it," Generia said.
When News 12 heard about their story, we made a call to Georgia Power. This afternoon, within 20 minutes of News 12 calling, a worker with the utility company was at the Mortons' home to turn their power back on.
"I thank the Lord that y'all came to help me, I really do," Generia said.
During that same phone call, Georgia Power also promised to work with the Mortons to help get the bill paid. The nonprofit group Adult Protective Services is paying $2,800 toward the bill. Georgia Power says it is working with Project Share through the Salvation Army to help pay the rest.