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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 , 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."

Check here for all of Palatine Patch’s storm updates:

G July 13, 2011 at 08:09 PM
Palak, I remember you and Reva from a Mom's group I used to be part of. I'm happy to see Reva looking so well but I am so sorry that you have had to go through so much hardship especially with the power outage! You are a super mom and take great care of her. I hope power is restored soon and that you can get some peace.
Ellen July 14, 2011 at 01:46 AM
Aren't there a few people in the Palatine area with enough money to pay for a motel for this little girl?????????????????????????????????????????
Ellen July 14, 2011 at 01:57 AM
Come on, Palatine. We're better than this, aren't we? Brian, where is the motel fund set up for this family????
Beth July 14, 2011 at 02:12 AM
I saw the picture 1st and recognized the couch! That was very kind of you Norma to help out a family in need!
Barb Kohn July 14, 2011 at 12:54 PM
Seems there should be some local agency that would be able and willing to aid a family in this tenable situation. It is fortunate that the coffee shop was available and agreed to be helpful.
Tom K July 14, 2011 at 02:06 PM
Has the family contacted The Palatine Township? This government body helps people in need. What about Com Ed don't they have a program for families with special medical needs?
Mike wittrup July 14, 2011 at 03:53 PM
Please send me your address as I would like to purchase a generator for your family if you think that will be a feasible solution for this type of situation going forward. You can email me at michaelwittrup@hotmail.com
Larissa Watt July 14, 2011 at 05:49 PM
Mike, you are a special guy and your generosity towards this family made my day.
Ellen July 14, 2011 at 06:16 PM
I have sent this link to someone who works at the Village of Palatine. Don't know if it will help but I had to try. Palatine once paid for a motel room for me for a day when I needed "emergency housing".
Ellen July 14, 2011 at 06:18 PM
You can also send emails to the Village of Palatine. I know Palatine can do better than this because I have seen for myself.
Mike wittrup July 14, 2011 at 07:19 PM
The family has not contacted me yet, but if anyone is interested in joining in my effort to help this family out with an electric generator, please let me know by sending me an email. If I hear from the family, I will send an email out to all who have offered with assisstance. I have limited funds but I also have a three year old son and this story broke my heart. This family may need my money more than I at this time.
Ellen July 14, 2011 at 07:50 PM
I just called the person I had earlier emailed at the Village and she has told me she has forwarded my email to the correct department. So, maybe...
Brian Slupski (Editor) July 14, 2011 at 07:50 PM
Hi Mike The family's power was restored today...which is great news. Several readers contacted me with offers to help the family...Palak was blown away by the offers of generosity.
varsha July 14, 2011 at 09:07 PM
Thank you to everyone's kind words. Palak is my dear friend and I have been so touched by everyone's kindness as has Palak and her family. If anyone is interested in more insight about Palak and her family's journey, she does have a blog. http://rx-mommy.blogspot.com/ Varsha
Norma H July 14, 2011 at 11:55 PM
Palak missed you today, Met your husband. Thanks to everyone who offered to help. Wish we got the story to PATCH sooner, I am glad your power came back on!
Ellen July 15, 2011 at 04:15 AM
Hey Brian, Real nice that their power is back on -- but are we now supposed to go on our merry ways thinking all is fine for this family? Sounds like they need a lot more than just electricity! Is the purpose of the Patch only to sensationalize and get us to watch someone else's misery very briefly and then move on to the next shiny object?

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