Firefighter pays family’s $1,000 electric bill to keep teen on ventilator


When firefighters like Ryan McCuen get the call, they always come running — never quite knowing what they’re getting into. 

After responding to a non-emergency call in Clinton Township, Michigan, back in February, McCuen went way above and beyond the call of duty.

When he arrived at the home, McCuen found Troy Stone, who suffers from Duchenne muscular dystrophy, connected to seven life-saving machines. The machines keep Stone breathing, and they had only hours left on their reserve batteries after the family’s home electricity was cut off by the power company.

Paying family’s bill was a ‘no brainer’

When McCuen realized what was going on, he didn’t think twice before paying the family’s more than $1,000 bill — calling his decision to help a ‘no brainer.’

“When [Stone’s mother] explained the unpaid bill, her family’s situation and how she didn’t know what to do, it was a no brainer for me,” McCuen told ABC News.

Read more: 16 ways to lower your energy bill


Troy Stone is 18-years-old and can no longer breathe on his own and has very limited movement in his arms and legs.

Christy Stone, Troy’s mother, says she’s overwhelmed with medical costs, since her 15-year-old son also has muscular dystrophy. While he doesn’t need a ventilator, he does rely on a wheelchair.

‘We’ve been going through a lot and got behind on a lot of stuff,’ Stone says. 

Stone told CNN she gave DTE Energy a letter from her son’s doctor explaining that there must be power to the home in order to keep the life-support equipment, which is keeping her son alive, up and running.

“They said it wasn’t the doctor’s signature on it, it was the nurse’s signature on it,” she told CNN. “So they said it was denied.”

The energy company issued a statement with the following:


“This is a very unfortunate situation that we are working to rectify immediately,” DTE Energy said in a release. “We will be working with this customer to get her the assistance she needs, which is the normal process we follow when our customers are faced with challenges in paying their bills. And we will be donating to the preferred charity of the generous and selfless firefighter who stepped up.”

Stone thanked McCuen for his generosity recently by delivering a balloon, card and cookies to the him at the station.

If you’d like to help Troy Stone and his family, check out the GoFundMe page that’s been set up to help raise money for a wheelchair transport van. 

firefighter pays family 1000 electricity bill

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