BROKEN ARROW, Okla. — An Oklahoma heatwave makes life uncomfortable for a lot of families, but when for people with chronic health problems, staying cool can be critical.
When the air conditioning went out for an older Broken Arrow couple, and they felt their home warranty company stalled on a repair, they called the 2 News Oklahoma Problem Solvers for help.
As the searing, stifling, summer heat of August started seeping into the Wards' home in Broken Arrow, they knew they could be in trouble.
"Precious life is at stake, " Judy Ward said.
Judy has diabetes and other health issues, but it's her husband Ronnie, who suffered the most after their air conditioner broke down in early August.
"He has a hard time breathing anyway," Judy said.
Ronnie battles lung and heart disease, has been in the hospital nine times in the last couple of years, they said, and takes breathing treatments twice a day, every day. Sometimes, Ronnie struggles just to speak.
"I know it was hard at times, especially when you're hot," Ronnie said. "I know other people are that way too and you've got COPD and other issues, a heart attack you're getting over."
When they called their home warranty company to get the A/C working, all of their in-network contractors were busy during the heatwave. The Wards said they were told it could be at least two weeks or longer for a service call.
"That's too long to wait, we're not financially able to go to a hotel," Judy said.
A couple of window units and fans made their home barely bearable, the Wards said. Trying to speed things up, they sent American Home Shield a letter from Ronnie's doctor, saying he can't tolerate excessive heat. AHS then authorized the Wards to find their own independent contractor to diagnose the problem, who told the warranty company the full system needs to be replaced.
"It hasn't gone anywhere, now they want a second opinion by their people, but they don't have anyone that can come out yet." Judy said they called AHS every day and were told they still had to wait for one of their contractors, even though it had been more than three weeks.
Last summer, the company patched their AC three times, and every time, Judy said, it would stop working. "I believe they need to stand by what they say, fix it or replace it."
At her wit's end, Judy finally called the 2 News Oklahoma Problem Solvers.
"I thought I'd at least try, for Ronnie. I'm kind of a mama bear, even though he's my husband, we've been through a lot for the last couple of years."
After hearing Judy and Ronnie's story, the 2 News Oklahoma Problem Solvers contacted American Home Shield. Good news followed quickly when a supervisor then called the Wards.
"She explained they're going to do everything they could to make it right, and they did," Ronnie said.
American Home Shield installed a new air conditioner and furnace.
"God's blessed us so much. We now have relief and comfort in our own home again," Judy said.
Not only did American Home Shield pay for the $7,000 installation, but they also offered to reimburse the Wards for those window units and service fees they had paid. Judy and Ronnie say they couldn't be happier, now that they can focus on their health, instead of the heat.
WATCH the full story on 2 News Oklahoma Monday at 6.p.m.
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