With power out, mother struggles to care for disabled daughter - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

With power out, mother struggles to care for disabled daughter

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Barbara Sybil and her daughter Annah Barbara Sybil and her daughter Annah
MEDICAL LAKE, Wash. -

A Medical Lake mother is going through some tough times right now trying to take care of her adult daughter with special needs.  The family lost power along with much of the region Tuesday after a severe windstorm swept through the Inland Northwest. 

Her daughter, Annah, has severe cerebral palsy, plus lung issues and requires a lot of medical equipment for her daily care.  Barbara Sybil has a small generator but it has to be filled with gas every 40 minutes. Sybil says she has to leave it off at night just so she can get some sleep. 

Seven years ago Barbara was told Annah would only live a few more weeks because of her disability.  Her cerebral palsy affects all parts of her body and the part of her brain that controls muscle movement.  Annah is non-verbal and depends on treatment several times a day. The treatment requires a lot of different types of equipment which of course requires power to run. 

"She wears a special vest that shakes her for 30 minutes to keep her lungs clear and a nebulizer," says Sybil.  So every 40 minutes Barbara is out filling up the small generator they do have. 

"We need a bigger generator that we don't need to fill so frequently." 

It's best for the family to stay home even without electricity because they have too much equipment to take to a shelter and the hospital isn't an option because Annah is very susceptible to infection and it is flu season. So right now, Barbara is struggling. 

"I enrolled in Spokane Falls Community College and was going to start classes in January for social work," says Sybil.  "In the event that she dies I need to have something to fall back on and I would like to help people."

But Barbara has had to put the classes on hold because she needs a new generator.  "She comes first," says Sybil of Annah. 

The good news is since we first went out and spoke with Barbara their power has come back on, but she'd still like to have a generator as back up in the instance the power goes out again. Heading into winter that's a real possibility.   

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