Spencer Solves It: Single mom with serious heart condition loses her job

By Bill Spencer - Investigative Reporter

HOUSTON - Monique Lyons often helps her two daughters, Kayla and Taylor, with their math homework at night.

Together, they work with numbers and algebra while sprawled out on their mother’s bed with their laptops.

But when it comes to the numbers surrounding Lyons' financial situation, nothing adds up.

“You can’t imagine. When you’re about to lose everything that you’ve worked so hard for, it’s hard,” Lyons said.

She is a U.S. Navy veteran who, up until six months ago had a great job working as a surgical technician at a well-known hospital. Then, the unthinkable happened.

At just 37 years old, while on duty, right in the middle of a surgery, Lyons suffered a heart attack.

“We were just finishing up the surgery and I felt something like a hot flash hit me and before I could even get the words out, I hit the floor. My heart rate was at, like, in the 20s which is damn near death,” she said.

Lyons was diagnosed with a serious heart condition called neurocardiogenic syncope, which causes rapid lowering of blood pressure and can make the victim pass out without any warning.

Lyons was forced to stop working in the operating room and was out of work and on leave for six months. Then, the really bad news came.

“I was notified that I was being terminated as of July 22 and would be out of a job,” she said, barely containing her emotions.

To make matters worse, following her heart attack, Lyons and her boyfriend were hit by a drunk driver on 610 and her car was totaled. Finally, as Lyons' unpaid bills continued to pile up, the hot water heater in her home stopped working.

For the last two and a half months she and her children have gone without hot water, and because of her heart condition, Lyons can’t take cold showers.

With nowhere else to turn, she contacted Spencer Solves It for help.

And right away, we brought in the plumbing and air conditioning experts at Budget Home Services. They quickly tore out Lyons' old, rusted, rotting, nonworking, water heater and got to work replacing it with a brand new, A.O. Smith energy-efficient water heater, right out of the box.

Installing the water heater is a hot, sweaty, difficult job, with the water heater located way up inside Lyons' small attic, but the Budget Home Services crew did it quickly.

Budget Home Services is a loyal member of Bill’s Brigade of helpers and has helped many needy families over the past few months.

“Well, Bill, we believe in hard work and, of course, we thoroughly believe in giving back to the community, so we really wanted to help Monique (Lyons), especially with all she is going through right now,” said Casey Hill, who runs Budget Home Services, with a broad smile.

Now, Monique will have hot, running water again for herself and her family. She still has a lot to deal with, but at least one of her most pressing problems is behind her now.

“I would really love to say thank you, Bill, from the bottom of my heart. Words just can’t express my gratitude. Thank you,” Lyons said.

Spencer Solves It would really like to help Lyons further by finding her a job in her field of expertise.

If you work at a hospital or a local health system and would like to give Lyons a job, please contact the Spencer Solves It team by email.

If you need help with a problem you can’t possibly solve by yourself, contact Spencer Solves It at 713-223-TIPS (8477) or email us at solvesit@click2houston.com.

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