Elderly couple initially reported dead, still recovering in hospital
PORT ST. LUCIE (CBS12) —
On Friday morning, a neighbor may have saved the lives of an elderly couple during Hurricane Matthew.
It all started when an area in Port St. Lucie lost power around 2:30 a.m. That's when a 90 year-old and his 82 year-old wife, turned on their generator inside their garage. With no ventilation, it started leaking Carbon Monoxide into the home.
A concerned neighbor, Cheryl Brittingham, heard the noise from their generator around 7:30 a.m., and went to check on them. What she saw shook her. She said, "They were passed out. He had fallen off his chair and he was on the floor, and she was slumped over a radio."
Brittingham immediately dialed 911, and first responders arrived moments later.
Initial reports said the couple died at the hospital. However, with the passing of the storm came a breath of fresh air. Their daughter, Jeannette Hegyi, says the couple is still recovering at the hospital.
Hegyi says her parents are vastly improving and responsive. After visiting them in the hospital she said, "They asked them to open their eyes, they did. Lift their arms, they did. Move their toes, they did. They are breathing on their own, they are doing wonderful!"
She went on to explain how happy she is about their recovery, saying, "Believe me, you can't understand how excited I am that they are still with us!"
Both the neighbors and family members believe this is an important safety reminder to keep generators outside, and they ask for prayers during this time of recovery.