MISSOURI CITY, Texas – In the middle of the hottest summer in at least five years, 75-year-old Marie Norris is taking her medication and sweltering inside her small Missouri City home.
"This is unbearable," she says.
At the same time, her 14-year-old grandson Marvin is taking a badly needed breathing treatment to cope with his asthma and his sister Krystal is trying to cool herself down by wiping a frozen ice pack across her neck.
Just what is going on here?
It's what a typical day looks like for the family that has been living without air conditioning since May 1.
"We've been drinking a ton of water and using ice cubes from the fridge to cool off," said Angela Norris, Marvin and Krystal's mother.
"It has been like living in hell," Marie Norris said.
For four long, miserable months, the Norris family has been unable to get the broken air conditioning system in their home fixed because they haven't been able to afford the repair costs, which are estimated at more than $5,000.
"It's just hard, so hard, every day," Angela Norris said while wiping tears from her eyes.
Angela Norris is the breadwinner for the family. She was forced to leave her job as a cafeteria manager two years ago after she suffered a massive stroke.
Now, living solely on Social Security disability benefits, Angela Norris and her entire family have been scraping just to get by.
When the AC system went out, there was nothing Angela Norris said they could do but live with it.
To make matters worse, both Marvin and Marie suffer from asthma, and the extreme heat has made it hard for them to breathe some days.
With nowhere else to turn, Marie Norris wrote to Spencer Solves It.
"We just got to get out of this insane heat. It's just too much," Marie Norris said.
Right away, the Spencer Solves It team contacted our friends at Village Plumbing and Air.
Experts in plumbing, heating and cooling for 73 years, the Village crew brought in and installed not just a brand-new AC system, but a completely new HVAC system, including a brand-new furnace as well.
"Well, their system was completely shot. At this point, this is not a put-a-BandAid-on-it type situation. The whole thing needs to be replaced. It needs full replacement," said Joel Grajeda, HVAC Install Coordinator for Village Plumbing and Air.
Workmen with Village toiled for hours inside the hothouse. They installed brand-new Lennox equipment.
Within a few hours, the job was complete.
Now, the Norris family will be able to stay cool for decades to come, and they won't have to worry about their furnace going out this coming winter when it gets cold outside.
Marie Norris is equal parts thrilled and relieved.
"You have to live in a hothouse like this for all these months to understand what I am talking about, but truly, this is wonderful. I can't thank you enough. I thank God and I thank you," Marie Norris said.
We at Spencer Solves It want to send our most heartfelt thanks to Monica Ryan and her fantastic crew at Village Plumbing and Air and also to Lennox.
It was a $9,000 job, but of course, the people at Village did all of it absolutely free.