Normally firefighters save lives by rescuing people from burning buildings, but this week, it was as simple as paying an electric bill.
Troy Stone is an 18-year-old bedridden teen who has Duchenne muscular dystrophy, an extreme variation of the muscle-wasting disease. He cannot breathe on his own, and had a tracheotomy last December. His 15-year-old brother also has the disease, and is in a wheelchair.
Troy’s parents, Guy and Christy Stone, have struggled financially for years, with two of their five children suffering from the disease. Living in a double-wide mobile home in suburban Detroit, they’ve been barely able to make ends meet, and since Troy’s breathing tube was inserted in December, the electric bill has tripled. It takes seven machines, all running on electricity, to keep him alive.
The family fell behind on the electric bill, and in spite of a doctor’s order that there must be power to maintain life support equipment, the power was cut off.
With only about three hours left of battery life, and all pleas to the utility company having failed, a desperate Christy Stone called for emergency help, and firefighter Ryan McCuen arrived on the scene. McCuen, a 7 ½ year veteran of the fire department who has had financial struggles of his own, assessed the situation and immediately told Christy Stone he would personally pay the electric bill.
And pay it he did, all $1,023.76 of it.
His generosity has sparked more giving from the community. One local company has paid the family’s electric bill for the next six months. A generator was also donated.
And Troy Stone, barely able to whisper, said, “Ryan is my hero.”
Thanks to the firefighter who answered the call.
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