No Power: Palatine Girl Charges Feeding Pump at Coffee Shop
Reva Desai, 4, is dependent on a feeding pump to survive.
The ongoing power outage from Monday's storm has become a matter of survival for 4-year-old Palatine resident Reva Desai.
Reva was born with serious digestion issues that force her to be fed by a pump connected directly to her stomach. After two full days without power, the battery ran low.
"It's about survival," said her 35-year-old mother, Palak. "It's about getting her needs met."
On Wednesday morning Palak and Reva were at Norma's Coffee Corner, 189 W. Northwest Highway. Norma's had power, allowing Palak to plug in the feeding pump. It also gave her a chance to charge the battery.
"I've been trying to do a makeshift fridge in a cooler," Palak said, adding that she harvests ice from friends and neighbors or buys it from stores. "I replace the ice every few hours to try and keep [Reva's] medical food and medicine from going bad."
Like many in northern Illinois the Desais awoke to a furious storm Monday that knocked out their electricity. The Desais have lived on Fairview Circle in the Palatine Commons subdivision for about 18 months.
As of 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 12, ComEd had restored power to 599,000 customers. However, 279,000 were still without power.
Initially about 9,000 homes and businesses in Palatine lost power. Village Manager Reid Ottesen said as of Wednesday morning about 2,330 ComEd customers in Palatine still were without power.
"As I understand it, a lot of the restoration left is replacing poles and equipment as opposed to just putting lines back up," Ottesen said. "So it's a little more complicated."
Ottesen said ComEd believes that Palatine will be 90 percent restored by Friday and 99 percent restored by midday Sunday.
Palak Desai hopes that her family is not part of the unlucky 10 percent that will have to wait for power until Sunday.
"This is a life-sustaining device for her," Palak Desai said. "She needs it for her nourishment and hydration."
The heat also has been an issue. Monday night it was 90 degrees inside the Desais' home. The family can't afford to go to a hotel because of mounting medical bills.
"She's a really good kid," Palak said of her daughter. "Even when she is in pain, she just tolerates it."
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