For family, receiving emergency oil spill help a matter of life and death

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by Bill Capo / Action Report

Posted on September 23, 2010 at 10:30 PM

Updated Friday, Sep 24 at 8:17 AM

GALLIANO, La. -- The sign in front of Lafourche Seafood in Galliano leans crookedly against a storage trailer, since the company shut down in May, and the owners are helplessly watching their income disappear.

"I'm fixing to lose my house, I'm fixing to lose my cars. I'm fixing to lose everything," said a tearful Kathleen Fabacher.

Her husband Kenny Fabacher can't get another job: he went blind seven years ago.

"It's very tough," Kenny said. "This is probably 80 percent of my income in this shop."

"I got to rely on food stamps," Kathy said, "which I've never had to do in my life, and to me that's embarrassing to have to go do."

They say they've been waiting a month for emergency help from Ken Feinberg's Gulf Coast Claims Fund, and Kathy worries further delays could be deadly for her disabled husband.

"Am I going to get the money to pay my bills, and to keep my husband alive, or is he going to die before I get the money?" Kathy said. "I'm scared to death."

By the time they e-mailed me last week, they were getting desperate to pay bills that are now overdue. So I immediately sent the Fabachers' e-mail to Ken Feinberg's staff. They told me somebody would get in touch with Kenny.

He said when they did, he couldn't believe their response.

"He said the only thing I can tell you right now is that you're under review," Kenny said. "I thought it was a wasted phone call, that's exactly what I told him. I said what good is your job?"

Kenny is also in kidney failure, so he needs dialysis three times a week to stay alive. But the overdue bills they can't pay include their vehicles and insurance so he can get to dialysis.

"Bills aren't paid, they take my car, they take my insurance, they take my house, and then I can't get him back and forth to dialysis," Kathy said, adding that if her husband doesn't receive treatment, he'll die.

I again asked Feinberg's staff to provide emergency help for the couple, and we'll let you know what happens.

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If you have a problem you want Action Reporter Bill Capo to look into, email him at bcapo@wwltv.com or call 504.522.4404.

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