Local business helps dying girl stay warm for the winter

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RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Cari Browne and her 14-year-old daughter Savannah had been without heat since before Christmas. That was until Tuesday, when they received some much-needed help from local business Michael & Son Services.

Savannah was diagnosed at birth with a rare genetic disorder, CAMK2D, which affects her heart. According to doctors, she has roughly six months to live.

“Savannah was born with a hole in her heart and stuff like that, that caused her to spend her first nine months in the hospital,” Savannah’s mother explained. “In fact, they sent her home on a respirator to die then, but she kind of tricked them.”

All her life, Savannah has beaten the odds. But when her father passed away in 2014, that left her mother with thousands in medical bills. To make matters worse, when their heat stopped working, it left Savannah vulnerable to cold temperatures, which could lead to cardiac arrest.

“I’ve been trying to raise money for a vehicle and all this other stuff and then all of a sudden my heat pump goes out, so it was very disheartening at first,” Browne said.

Having no idea how they would make it through the winter, a technician who came out to Browne’s house put them in touch with the Michael & Son Cares Program.

“He called me and I spoke with the owner and within a couple of hours we had planned to be out here in a couple of days to install a heating system for free,” Michael & Son Cares Program Manager Shadi Tahrawi explained.

The Michael & Son Cares Program has been around since 2010, helping out families in need with home repairs. Browne says she is beyond grateful for the help in making sure her daughter stays happy and comfortable for the time she has left.

“They came right to our rescue,” Browne said. “It was really amazing you know, we didn’t have to wait hardly any time at all.”

There is also a  GoFundMe account set up for Savannah. Her mom is also raising money for an SUV to fit her wheelchair in as well as a stair lift to help Savannah get up and down the stairs.

Information for the Michael & Son Cares Program can be found here.

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