Mom Asks for Help with Living Conditions for Ill Son

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EDINBURG – An Edinburg mother is fighting keep her son alive. Their living conditions put him at risk.

The respirator, feeding tubes and an air conditioner are all items needed to keep 14-year-old Alex Padilla alive. According to his mother, Martha Padilla, the problem is in his lungs.

“His scoliosis is affecting his left lung,” she said.

Padilla said she can’t leave his side. His condition started to get worse after he turned three.

“He’s sick and I have to be with him 24 hours a day. I have to be here for any emergency. Right now, what worries me is all the equipment in here,” she said.

The same medical equipment that keeps him alive is at risk as well.

“The problem is that we have an electrical problem and repairing that would cost about $1,800,” Padilla said.

The teen’s mother explained the only electrical source is an outlet outside that continues throughout the side of the house and starts at an electrical box. She said it’s a safety hazard.

“The cable that brings electricity to our home, (it) can’t handle the amount of energy the machines need. The electrician told me I need another type of cables and switches to avoid shorts and other dangers,” she said.

Coral Lopez, a registered nurse, cared for Alex for the past three years. She said the family’s electrical needs are a matter of life or death.

“Obviously, if something happens, he’d be the first primary thing I need to take out of here, but he does rely on all these other equipment that he has to have or else 911 and lights go out, I only have a maximum of five to nine hours to get him somewhere safe,” Lopez said.

She said the family tried to reach out for help and kept getting the runaround. CHANNEL 5 NEWS called the Hidalgo County Community Service Agency to see how they can help. They visited the home.

“Normally, our agency helps people pay their light bill and certainly those services we can offer here,” Hidalgo County Community Service Agency Executive Director, Jaime Longoria, said.

Longoria said they do make exceptions for emergency situations, like Padilla’s.

“What I'd like to do is to see if I can find an electrician to kind of give us a just a once through and figure out what is needed, and then what I'll have to do is go to our funder and see if our funder will allow these type of expenditures,” he said.

Padilla said she would appreciate any help.

“The thing I care about the most, the thing that worries me the most is him,” she said.

Longoria said they plan to install a larger air conditioner for the family. The agency also plans to have an electrician at her home on Wednesday.