Back in December we met Larry Peel. Larry was diagnosed with COPD about 11 years ago and has been on supplemental oxygen for the past 7 years.
We got in touch with Larry because one of our owners saw a news report about him. He had received an oxygen concentrator from his insurance company, Kaiser but now they were wanting the unit back because they said that he had received it in error.
Larry explained that he needed the portable during his long shifts as a 911 operator but the insurance company still called his lifeline to oxygen, "non-essential".
Peel sometimes resorted to going without oxygen and trying to remain as still and calm as possible to avoid getting winded and triggering a coughing spell.
As you can imagine, in the life of a 911 dispatcher this was not always possible. It's estimated that patients who do not use their required oxygen increase their chances of heart failure or stroke by up to 50%.
With Larry's dosage he would need up to 5 or 6 heavy tanks to last him through a 10 or 12 hour shift. He feared that he would have to quit work, leaving this single dad unable to support himself and his son.