Single mom, son receive help after getting power shut off - WNEM TV 5

Single mom, son receive help after getting power shut off

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(Source: WNEM) (Source: WNEM)
BIRCH RUN, MI (WNEM) -

A single mother was struggling to keep her family warm on Thursday.

But now help is on the way.

TV5 first introduced you to Sheila Burk on Thursday. She had returned home to find the heat was shut off. With temperatures in the single digits she called the TV5 Rescue Squad.

She and her son James snuggled up together under a pile of blankets to try to stay warm.

"Lot of times this is what we do to keep warm," Burk said. "We've got all the doors shut trying to keep as much warmth in as we can."

She said she and James came home from a doctor's appointment Wednesday to find their power and heat had been shut off.

Burk is a single mom doing what she can to provide for her son with special needs, but she is struggling to make ends meet.

"He doesn't fully understand. He knows we've got no power, just doesn't understand what that means. That we can't fix food, we can't take showers, can't do anything like that because we don't have hot water," Burk said.

With temperatures in the single digits on Thursday, it wasn't exactly the ideal time to lose heat and electricity.

"My feet are freezing," Burk said.

Burk said James has delayed development and Asberger's, as well as kidney problems. She is worried how their now freezing house will affect his health.

"Most the time he can't feel his hands and feet. When he goes out to play for a while and if I don't make him come in and try to warm up, he can get ear infections, possibly kidney infections back," Burk said.

Even though James loved playing in the snow on his snow day, his mom was worried how he would warm back up inside. She said she was looking for a Christmas miracle to turn the heat back on and have a warm home for her son.

Now the power and heat are back up and running. Burk said her concern over the health of her son is put as ease.

On Thursday a DHS case worker helped her get assistance to pay more than $1,000 off her Consumers balance. That's some weight off of Burk's shoulders.

"It's a load off my mind. It makes it much easier. Like I said, dealing with James and that, I'm always worried about the bills coming up, bills and all that. So when I worry, he worries. And that makes me hurt," Burk said.

Several people reached out to TV5 saying they would like to help the single mother who has fallen on hard times. Burk said she is in awe of the generosity.

"I plan on paying it forward as I can," she said.

As for James, even though he may not fully understand his mom's struggle, he is glad to see her happy once again.

"Thank you for making sure we got our power back on and let you know we're blessed our power back on," James said.

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