WJTV News Channel 12 - Power outage leaves critically ill infant in crisis

Power outage leaves critically ill infant in crisis

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RJ depends on a ventilator because of his medical condition. RJ depends on a ventilator because of his medical condition.
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FALL BRANCH, TN (WJHL) -
A damaged transformer cut electricity to almost 2,000 homes and businesses Thursday night in Sullivan, Washington, and Hawkins Counties.

"Crews are on their way now to begin repairs," said Appalachian Power spokesperson Teresa Hall at 9:45 p.m. Thursday via email.   "The outage is the result of a damaged transformer."

Hall later said it could be noon Friday before the problem is fixed.

For most, it was a big inconvenience on a cold winter night.

But for people with medical conditions - families like the Morelock's in Fall Branch - the outage created serious concerns.

RJ Morelock, 7-months old, was diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy or SMA Type 1.   The condition requires him to be on a ventilator.   Without power, the Morelock family was depending on a generator Thursday night.

"We're scared everyday and with the power outage it's a lot more scarier," says Crystal Morelock, RJ's mom.

The Morelock family had a nurse in the home overnight.   The ventilator had backup batteries.   Because a move in the bitter cold would be traumatic and require an ambulance transport, the decision was made to keep RJ at home and wait for the power to come back on.

Learn more about RJ through his Facebook page.

Watch the video above to see coverage on News Channel 11.

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