Senior forced to endure heat after A/C gets stolen

June 17, 2011 10:47:02 AM PDT
An elderly woman who was forced to live without an air conditioner in this extreme heat may be getting some help. We told you her story last night, and already several of you have come forward offering a helping hand.

Eyewitness News received dozens of calls and e-mails offering assistance. At last check, Lt. Jasen Rabalais with the Harris County Precinct 3 Constable's Office who also owns a construction business says he is donating a brand new A/C unit to Josephine Palacios that will be installed later today.

As temperatures hover around 100 degrees, a 73-year-old woman is in her home with any air conditioning. But it's not because she can't afford it, but because someone stole it, while she was in the hospital.

Palacios feels vulnerable right now. She just had surgery and being home provides little comfort. Leaving, she says, is what left her with no air conditioning in the first place.

With the sun beating down, the porch at Palacios' house in northeast Houston is scorching.

Inside it doesn't feel much better.

"Just like going in an oven, real hot," she said.

Ever since Tuesday, she's come to rely on two fans and ice water to provide some relief. That's when the 73-year-old walked in after nine days in the hospital to find her window air conditioning unit gone.

"It's so hot; the sun comes in and it's real hot," Palacios said.

And she's not exaggerating. We brought along a thermometer to find out just how hot her home is.

"Is it 100?" Palacios asked.

"It says 100," we said.

"It's hot," she said.

Palacios thinks the thief came through the front window and made off with the only possession she truly wants right now.

"I don't care about food or anything; I just want some air conditioning," she said.

She's afraid to leave her home again for fear more might be stolen so for now she spends her days in front of the fans, keeps a rag close to wipe the sweat from her face and can't wait for the time to tick closer to sundown.

"It's cooler," Palacios said.

Palacios is on a fixed income so she can't afford to buy another unit. She has called the city of help, and it suggested she go to one of the cooling centers around the Houston area, but she says she's afraid to leave her home at all.

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