Veteran & Emphysema Patient Given New Oxygen Machine

By Stephanie Parkinson -21Alive

November 14, 2013 Updated Nov 14, 2013 at 6:39 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (21Alive) - For five months a local veteran and emphysema patient has been without his portable oxygen concentrator, but Thursday he was given a brand new one.

"It's like I'm out of jail again so to speak," said Carl Soellinger, Emphysema Patient.

Carl Soellinger has been paying Lincare for the past year and a half for a portable oxygen concentrator. The machine allows him to leave his home for up to five hours, but since July he's been without it.

"It boiled down to it never got sent in to get repaired," said Soellinger.

Lincare has a Fort Wayne location, but Carl was having trouble getting answers on where his machine was, or when he would get it back. Thursday, he got a visit from two Lincare officials, including the regional manager who came from Columbus, Ohio.

"He had read all the notes and found out that I was telling the truth," said Soellinger. "They agreed with everything. They give me this new machine which makes me very happy."

Carl and his wife are thankful for this outcome, but credit our news coverage from earlier in the week.

"I think that it was your story that really got their attention and actually got something done," said Nanette Soellinger, Carl's wife.

Carl may have a new machine now, but a lot of damage is already done. The Korean War vet missed his 60th high school reunion this summer and a number of other outings.

He says summertime is important to him because he doesn't know how many he has left. But he's in high spirits now, and is looking forward to spending time with friends.

"Well, probably go to the meeting on Sunday and I can go out to dinner afterwards, something I haven't been able to do in awhile," said Soellinger.

Carl says he's happy to have a new machine that works properly. But he's also asking this issue be looked into so it doesn't happen again.

The Lincare officials who took Carl the machine said they couldn't talk to us on camera.

Carl says he's hoping they will address this issue locally to ensure it doesn't happen again.

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