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Descanso couple with breathing issues calls power shutoff 'terrifying'

Posted at 4:35 PM, Dec 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-03 21:31:08-05

DESCANSO, Calif. (KGTV) - An East County couple is making a plea for help, fearful a power shutoff will be hazardous to their health.

Holly and Alan Shields got the call from SDG&E Wednesday night, warning about possible power shutoff. Hours later, the power was shut off at their home in Descanso.

"My stomach just dropped. You know, it was like, 'What am I going to do?'" said Holly Shields.

"Nervous and stressed out," added Alan Shields.

Both Holly and Alan require breathing aids. Alan, who served in the Army as a welder, suffers from chronic lung issues and must use a CPAP machine to help him breathe while he sleeps.

Holly is battling breast cancer.

"I take very high steroids, which has cut down on the amount of oxygen my lungs can accept, so I have to be on an oxygen machine when I can't breathe," said Holly.

Because of the power shutoff, neither Holly nor Alan will be able to their machines.

"I’m scared to death," said Holly.

The two do have a generator, which is outside and has enough juice to power a freezer and heat their seven tortoises.

"The tortoises have to stay warm. Otherwise, they will go into hibernation, and it will kill them," said Holly.

The couple says they couldn't afford an electrician to hook up their generator inside, and can't afford another generator.

"He lost a lot of work, both of us did, to COVID," said Holly.

The couple now finding themselves in a precarious position, worried about how long their power will be out, and unable to breathe easily. They're hoping someone will lend them a generator and help them hook it up.

"It's tricky hooking it up to a home with solar panels. We have solar panels, but only generate power and send it to SDG&E. We don't use the power," said Holly. "It's petrifying not knowing what will happen with our health."

If you'd like to help the Shields family, contact us at