Since the power went out on Monday night, one family has been rationing oxygen tanks for their five-month-old son in their Killeen, Texas, home.
Angel Garcia says her son was born at 26 weeks and he requires supplemental oxygen. He only came home three weeks ago.
“We have an oxygen machine that converts room air, but since we’ve had no power, we’ve had to use our cylinders,” Garcia told CNN by phone on Wednesday evening. “Those went out and they only deliver those once a month. We’re not able to plug in his pulse oximeter to check on his oxygen. We’re keeping a constant eye on him to see how he’s doing.”
Her son, Christopher, was born with premature lungs. Garcia, a nurse, is watching him constantly, she said.
Garcia, her two children and her husband are trying to stay warm in their home. They made a makeshift heater out of a pot raised up on bricks above some candles. They are boiling bottled water because they don’t have water pressure at home.
The family was running out of wood, so they started burning their 3-year-old daughter’s baby blocks in the fireplace, she said. She shared a photo of her daughter, Jordan, watching the fire as her toys burned.
“A lot of people don’t know the severity of what’s going on. People are tearing down their fences to burn,” Garcia said in between tears. “We started burning my daughter’s little wooden blocks because it was just too cold.”
She says she hopes that people realize how bad the situation is in a state where people are not accustomed to this type of cold weather.
“Not everyone has gas but we waited in line about an hour and finally we were able to get some gas,” Garcia said. “There’s pretty much nowhere to go. Everyone in Texas is in the same boat. If they have electricity, there’s no water. If they have water, there’s no electricity.”