Surprise Squad helps Avondale woman in need of AC amid intense heat wave

Sponsored by Valley Toyota Dealers
The team got in touch with Penguin Air, Plumbing & Electrical to see if they would pitch in as well and they quickly agreed.
Published: Jul. 28, 2023 at 1:33 PM MST|Updated: Jul. 28, 2023 at 2:01 PM MST
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AVONDALE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -- The intense heat wave blanketing Arizona for weeks has been challenging for many. Now imagine having to suffer through it without a working air conditioner. That was the reality for an Avondale woman named Tiana. She knew she needed to get a new one and had been saving her money to buy it, but a severe health issue wiped it all away.

Her cousin contacted Arizona’s Family Surprise Squad to see if the team could help. The team contacted Penguin Air, Plumbing & Electrical to see if they would pitch in as well and quickly agreed.

“We’re happy to step in and help out and hopefully get them some cool air in these crazy temperatures,” said Penguin Air’s general manager Jay Kline. “We love being able to have that opportunity to give back to somebody in need like this who really deserves it.”

Kline, along with Arizona’s Family’s Gina Maravilla and the Surprise Squad crew, knocked on Tiana’s door and introduced themselves. They told her she had been nominated for a surprise, and part of that surprise included taking care of her cooling issues. After inspecting her unit and checking out the electrical panel, Kline determined they could replace it with a new unit at no charge to Tiana.

Gina and Tiana then went back inside the sweltering home to talk about the challenges Tiana had faced in recent months.

She told Gina that in December, she had an ankle injury and had to wear a medical boot. She said the boot was too tight and caused a blood clot in her leg that traveled up to her lungs. Tiana ended up having a pulmonary embolism, and her heart stopped several times.

“I was in a medically induced coma for two weeks,” Tiana said. She also had to have all of her toes amputated. Gina asked, “What keeps you strong and do you have those moments when you just break down and say, ‘Why me?,”

Tiana explained that she does have tough days, but her mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother all raised her to be strong and the importance of family. “As long as your family is there to help out, you guys help each other out. It always ends up working out.”

Gina handed Tiana an envelope and told her the AC replacement was only part one of her surprise. Tiana started to choke up when she opened it and discovered the Arizona’s Family Surprise Squad and Valley Toyota Dealers were giving her $5000 to help with her mounting bills.

“Can I give you a hug?” Gina asked.

“Yes, I’d love to give you a hug,” Tiana smiled. “I didn’t know what I was going to do this month; I really didn’t.”

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