Family of elderly couple worries about life without a working phone

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - A phone outage is creating major concerns for people who rely on their landline telephones.

Mary and Harold Haggard discovered their home phone did not work Saturday.  In this age of smart phone technology, for the elderly northland couple, a working landline is a necessity.  Harold suffered a massive stroke and needs to use a wheelchair. Mary has heart problems. 

"Makes me a little nervous to go to bed and have nothing. No way to call anybody or to get out," Mary Haggard said.    

Their daughter Jenny contacted AT&T this weekend and was told a repair crew would come on Sunday. When the crew didn't show, they called back and were told the outage is bigger than at first thought, affecting 135 customers.

Jenny Haggard said, "There are also other elderly neighbors in this subdivision who've had strokes and heart attacks, who are in their late 80s. They’re helpless as well."

Frustrated, Jenny contacted Call For Action.

An AT&T spokesperson says a company installing Google fiber damaged a cable under Vivion Road.  

In a statement, the spokesperson said, “The location of the damage under a busy thoroughfare impacts our restoration timeline and we are working through requirements, including needed permits, for completing the repair work. We apologize for this inconvenience.”

The company hopes to have phone service restored by Thursday, but continues to assess the damage.  

Mary Haggard has a defibrillator for her heart that relies on the landline in an emergency. Her medical alert button is useless without the phone too.  

 “It’s scary knowing that you would be helpless and that he would be helpless," she added.

The couple keeps a cell phone close by.  Mary went out and purchased prepaid minutes for it in case of an emergency.

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