05/16/2016 UPDATE: We are saddened to report that Troy Stone has passed away. We wish the family all the best, and encourage you to share your condolences by visiting their GoFundMe page.
By definition, a firefighter is a person whose job is to extinguish fires. Nowhere in the job description does it say “pay bills for others.”
But that’s exactly what Ryan McCuen, 7-year veteran of the Clinton Township fire department, did.
McCuen is part of the Michigan-based Engine No. 5 team that responded to a non-emergency medical call in February. Upon arrival to the mobile home, he met a boy named Troy Stone.
Stone suffers from Duchenne muscular dystrophy. He is barely able to move his arms and legs, requiring a ventilator to breathe. In total there are seven machines, all using the home’s power, keeping Troy alive.
As a result, his mother Christy was unable to keep up with the skyrocketing electric bill. Despite a desperate plea with DTE Energy and a letter from their doctor to keep the electricity on no matter what, the power company cut off their supply.
If power didn’t come back soon, Troy’s backup batteries were only expected to last another three hours before his equipment would start to fail.
While responding to this call, firefighter McCuen overheard the emotional Christy on the phone with DTE, who seemed uncooperative with restoring their power. So McCuen, without hesitation, did the unthinkable.
He paid their electric bill: $1,023.76 in total.
Because of the media attention Christy Stone’s story received, another company offered to pay their electric bill for the next six months. A generator was also donated so the family can keep the machines running regardless of how long their power may go out.
As for the kind act by firefighter McCuen, Christy said she is speechless. She couldn’t believe a total stranger would step up and do something like this for her.
Click below to see the news clip and hear McCuen’s response to his first ever $1000 call for help.
The family is currently raising funds to help them purchase a new handicapped transport van. With the help of Ryan’s kind act and the publicity it received, they are more than half-way to their goal. You can help by visiting their Go Fund Me page.