CROSBY, Texas (KTRK) - A Texas Vietnam veteran died during this week’s winter storms while searching for oxygen after the machine he needed to breathe lost power.
“He had all that he dragged through the house with him so he could breath,” Toni Anderson said as she held the tube that connects to her husband’s oxygen machine, a machine run by electricity.
Her husband, Andy Anderson, served in the Vietnam War, where he encountered Agent Orange. He was diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and needed to use an oxygen machine.
When they lost power, his machine stopped working.
“This is great if you’ve got electricity. But if you don’t have electricity, it’s worthless,” Toni Anderson said. “That’s worthless.”
As the hours went by, Andy Anderson struggled to breathe.
“We just thought the power would get back on. We didn’t know the power would be out for days like it was,” she said.
All the while, a pipe burst sent water everywhere.
Andy Anderson worked to get a generator going to power his oxygen machine but had no luck. He then went to the truck for a device he had there that supplied oxygen.
Not long after that, Toni Anderson went to check on him.
“I went out there, he had no response. He was already cold,” Toni Anderson said. “It looked like he had tried to start getting out of the truck, he was laying over the console and one leg out of the truck.”
Andy Anderson died from hypothermia.
Toni Anderson blames the power outage for his death.
“Had he had his oxygen, had the power not been off, I think he would have still been here with me right now,” she said.
After 30 years of marriage, Toni Anderson must learn to live without her husband.
“Just like I’ve been doing all week, I think of something I want to say to him, and I’ll turn and he’s not there,” Toni Anderson said. “I’ll be wanting to talk to him, he’s not there.”
Now she mourns the death of husband, a death she says could have been avoided if the system hadn’t failed.
“He’s going to be missed, he’s gonna be missed terribly,” she said.
With a home that needs repair and the loss of her husband, Toni Anderson’s family has started a GoFundMe to help with expenses.