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Cape Coral couple receives air conditioner

By Staff | May 24, 2016

For Sam Pramanan’s wife, who has cancer, to come home, he would have to keep his house cool.

But without an air conditioner, he was having to do that by opening up the freezer in his kitchen.

This was not acceptable. So on Monday, Builder’s Care, the charitable arm of the Builder’s Industry Association, and Dr. Kool Air Conditioning came to Pramanan’s home to surprise him with a free air conditioning unit that was installed just before his wife, Mahadai, could come home from the hospital.

It was an emotional moment for Sam, who had worried about how he was going to keep the house cool when his wife returned home that day.

“This is the most exciting thing that has happened in my life,” a tearful Prananan said. “I’ve been working since I was 12 years old, and then I got a liver problem and everything went down the drain.”

Mahadai is currently receiving chemotherapy treatment for multiple myeloma cancer, a bone cancer that has left her brittle and prone to breaks; she has broken two bones since being hospitalized.

She was recently hospitalized by complications from the illness and could not return home until their 20-plus-year-old air conditioning unit was replaced.

Until then, Sam was using the freezer to cool down the house. The old unit worked, but the decay of the ducts was damaging the ceiling and creating a potential mold situation.

“My wife gets sick and can’t breathe properly because the cancer is in her lungs, so I had to use the freezer this morning,” Sam said. “The old air conditioner was running and the decay of the ducts made it very hot. Sometimes we can smell the mold.”

Sam’s health issues included undergoing a liver transplant as well as a quintuple-bypass, which has made him unable to meet many of the family’s financial needs.

After learning of the family’s situation, Mark and Melissa Maner, owners of Dr. Kool Air Conditioning and Refrigeration, stepped in.

“It’s a passion to give back. We try to put people ahead of profit and share what the good Lord has given us,” Mark Maner said, adding he did a similar act last year for a Fort Myers family and plans to do yet another later this summer.

Christy Sarlo, executive director of Lee Builder’s Care, said Dr. Kool reached out to Builder’s Care wanting to do something good.

“We matched them up with three candidates, provided them with the stories about them so they could take a look and see if it was something they would be interested in,” Sarlo said.

Maner went out to assess the situation last week, and Pramanan was unaware that anything was going to happen until the Builder’s Care people came up the street in their hardhats to give Sam the news.

The new air conditioner was installed, as well as new ductwork. The going rate for such a job, Maner said, was in the $4,500 to $5,000 range.

Ruud, a national manufacturer of heating, cooling and water heating products, and Tropic Supply, an HVAC and refrigeration regional supplier, also provided assistance.

“We were asked by Dr. Kool to donate some air conditioner equipment for a worthy cause,” said Ken Danziger, area manager of Tropic Supply. “We do about six to eight of these homes a year. It’s always good to give.”

Builder’s Care was founded in 2005 to help elderly or disabled homeowners in Lee County. The organization has helped more than 260 families and provide more than $4 million in services in Lee County alone, Sarlo said.