Three years ago, Charlotte Kolacz was diagnosed with a life threatening heart condition. “The electrical circuit in here isn't working. The upper chamber was okay but not the lower chamber.”
So, the 83 year old received a pacemaker which requires testing every four months. She can usually have it done from the comfort of her home using a special machine. All she needs to do is connect it to her telephone landline. Her doctor's able to monitor her progress right over the phone.
But recently, Kolacz said her phone service to her home on University Avenue in Depew has become unreliable and often goes down for days at a time. “I bought a new telephone figuring it was the phone. But, it wasn't that.”
Kolacz said her service has dropped at least a handful of times in the last year. Winters are when she worries the most. “I'm already going to be 84, and I have to worry about slipping or falling outside to go to the doctor,” she explained. “They say usually it's from the squirrels who chew on the lines and when they chew on the lines they make them bare and when it rains, there's no connection.”
Kolacz said Verizon’s always on top of the problem once it happens. She just wishes it wouldn’t happen at all. “They do very faithfully fix it. But, the company isn't putting in a new line and that's probably what we need.”
In a statement, a Verizon company spokesman said “we're looking into this issue and will resolve it and do right by this customer as soon as possible.”
7 Eyewitness News will be following up and bring you any developments in Kolacz’s case.