Carmel husband fighting cancer without power after strong winds

UPDATE: Couple said late Sunday night they now have power and are back at home.

_ _ _

CARMEL, Ind. – Thousands were still without power across Central Indiana on Sunday after strong winds came through the area. For one Hoosier family in Carmel, this power outage is much more than an inconvenience. It is making it difficult for a husband to stay alive as he fights cancer.

Derek Fakehany was diagnosed with blood cancer two years ago. After a second bone marrow transplant, his immune system is very weak. He hardly leaves his sterilized home during flu season.

Fakehany and his wife lost power on Saturday around 5 p.m. so they did not have any heat. They were forced to go outside and check into a nearby hotel. More than 24 hours later, they still do not have power.

“In an environment like this, I am putting myself at risk,” said Fakehany.

In their sterilized home, they have an expensive air filter to keep germs out and new windows to lock everything in. They do not have that in a hotel. Amy Van Ostrand, Fakehany’s wife, was forced to sterilize the entire hotel room. She sleeps on the couch and Fakehany sleeps on the bed.

“Did somebody not wipe down the refrigerator handles?” he said. “Did somebody not clean the door handle before they left? Did somebody sneeze in here?”

It’s been very stressful for the couple to not be at home. Van Ostrand said they are losing their ability to minimize his risks by staying in the hotel.

“For Derek, it could literally land him back in the bone marrow transplant unit and kill him,” said Van Ostrand.

Van Ostrand said she tried contacting Duke Energy about their urgent need for power. After no luck, she claimed she called the company’s emergency line but still could get no answers about when their power would be restored.

“That is really disturbing to me and that makes me angry if I am being honest,” she said.

FOX59 reached out to Duke Energy. A spokesperson said 13 people were affected on their street and Duke Energy was waiting for a third party tree company to remove debris so they could restring the lines. They hoped power would be back on by 9 a.m. Monday.

Van Ostrand said Duke Energy called her shortly after we reached out. She hopes her husband can finally sleep easy tomorrow at home.

Duke Energy said it has a program for customers with special medical needs. They can fill out a form with their physician and submit it to Duke Energy so they are aware.