Connect with us


Grieving son calls for change after losing mum on life support during power outage



A grieving son is calling for energy companies to do more after his mother, who was on life support, died during a power outage in the NSW Central West.

Gloria Shea, 80, relied on a life support machine for oxygen while suffering from emphysema at her home in Dubbo.

The great-grandmother's machine switched off during an unexpected blackout while she was sleeping about 5am on May 8.

READ MORE: Truckie charged over horror school bus crash west of Melbourne

Neither Shea nor her son Brian, who lives on the same property, were notified by their energy company or the network provider Essential Energy.

"She wasn't ready to die," Brian said.

"She was full of life and energy, she had planned what she was doing the next day.

"If there was some sort of automated system that sent out a text message, I could have been there in 30 seconds, in under a minute."

READ MORE: Sitcom star 'used drugs and Scientology to get away with rape'

A grieving son is calling for energy companies to do more after his mother, who was on life support, died during a power outage in the Dubbo.

"We could have assisted her, we could have got her oxygen bottles to her.

"She does have oxygen bottles in the home but at night you rely on the oxygen generator."

The oxygen machine was rented and didn't come fitted with a back-up battery.

If there is a planned energy outage, providers need to give customers using life support four days' notice but in the case of an unexpected blackout, they aren't required to make contact.

READ MORE: Toddler dead, 23 missing after hippo attack

Instead, they urge vulnerable customers when they first sign up to have a back-up battery or generator and to call triple-zero in an emergency. 

An Essential Energy spokesperson said the team had personally contacted the family to extend their "deepest condolences".

"On Monday 8 May 2023, an unplanned power outage occurred around 5am when a member of the public contacted our 24/7 Customer Contact Centre to report sparks from a transformer on a power pole," the spokesperson said.

"To ensure public safety, Essential Energy remotely de-energised the local network.

"A field team was dispatched to the site and undertook repairs so that power could be restored as safely and quickly as possible.

READ MORE: Seven kids seriously hurt in horror Melbourne bus crash

"The power supply was interrupted twice for short durations and was fully restored approximately one hour after the fault was first reported."

The spokesperson advised customers who rely on continuous power supply to seek advice from their medical practitioner and have "contingency plans in place".

The energy provider said about three per cent of their 880,000 customers were registered life support customers.

Sign up here to receive our daily newsletters and breaking news alerts, sent straight to your inbox.

Source link