Dad Chains Himself to Electric Meter to Save Daughter's Life

Filed under: In The News

electric meterMany of us at one time or another have experienced he desperation of not having enough money to cover the monthly bills. While that situation is uncomfortable and stressful, it generally isn't life-threatening. But for a father in Highland Park, Florida, getting behind on his electric bill did become a life or death situation.

After having several strokes and seizures, Tony Duncan found himself out of work. For over a year, he has been unable to find a new job or collect unemployment because of his medical condition. He managed to keep up on his bills for a while, but in July he stopped paying his electric bill. When the past-due amount reached about $2,000, Gulf Power threatened disconnection.

Having your power disconnected is bad enough, but for Duncan it could have fatal consequences for his 5-year-old daughter, Makayla. She has some pretty serious medical problems of her own and relies on a feeding tube and other medical apparatus that require electricity to operate. But Gulf Power was adamant and gave Duncan until Friday to pay up.

On Thursday, in a desperate attempt to keep the power from being disconnected, Duncan chained himself to his electric meter. His ploy worked. No, it didn't make the power company realize that they were risking a child's life over $2,000. Duncan's stunt made the news and an anonymous donor came forward to pay off most of the amount he owed. Other good Samaritans also chipped in with not just money, but job offers.

Perhaps Gulf Power has another story to tell - one that doesn't make them sounds like total monsters. But hooray for the caring people of Highland Park who came to the rescue of this struggling family.

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.