Man Says Power Shut Off Could've Cost Him His Life

HOT SPRINGS, AR -- A close call tonight for a man who relies on electricity to power his medical equipment that keeps him alive.

He was told his power would be shut off today.

That's when his wife turned to Fox16 News for help.

After we started looking into this issue -- in Hot Springs -- and making some calls, Entergy representatives set up arrangements with Stephanie Clayborn to keep the power on, but not before moments of panic.

Nine hours a day Josh Clayborn uses electricity as he does his kidney dialysis from home.

His bedroom is covered with boxes of the treatment and his nightstand is packed with medicines.

His wife, Stephanie Clayborn, said, "The Monday after Valentine's Day oh, he's in renal failure, you need to be directly admitted to the hospital."

Because of his condition -- Josh Clayborn hasn't been able to work -- putting the family behind on bills.

The Entergy bill was a couple weeks past due and the Clayborn's got notice to pay or power would be turned off.

Josh Clayborn said, "It would pretty much be the end of me."

Stephanie Clayborn said she paid more than half the bill today and says her husband's doctor turned in the medical documents to Entergy.

But, she says, a representative told her it was too late, the crews would disconnect the power soon leaving her husband without his life saving treatment.

Stephanie Clayborn said, "I just lost it because they were just so uncaring. They were rude."

After Fox16 talked to Entergy, the Clayborns' said things changed.

Sally Graham, with Entergy Arkansas, said, "Entergy Arkansas understands that having a medical service to all of our customers is something that we strive to do."

Graham couldn't talk about the Clayborn's account, but she did say with the right medical documentation an extension would be made.

Stephanie Clayborn said, "Well the thing they said they could not do all of a sudden within an hour or so talking to you all of a sudden it's all worked out. They could do the same thing I asked them."

Since Josh Clayborn started his treatment about four months ago, the power bill nearly doubled.

The family will soon be receiving disability checks which will help, but they're also going to look into programs for energy assistance.

If you would like to follow Melissa Schroeder's reports on Facebook, you can click here and like her page.

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