SMITHFIELD, Va. (WAVY) — We all know how difficult it can be to get the air conditioning fixed during a stretch of intense heat. It’s been made worse because of staffing shortages. But when someone’s health is at stake, the need is turned up a notch.

Smithfield mom Tonyia Harwell says she hasn’t been sleeping the past few months because she’s worried about the temperature in her home. Her daughter, Dana, has a rare disorder and if the house gets too hot, or too cold, she could die.

Dana is in her 40’s and suffers from Prader-Willi syndrome. She has trouble controlling her body temperature and all the thermostats in the house have different readings.

In the front of the house, it could be 80 degrees even when the thermostat is set at 76 degrees, then at the same time in the back of the house, it could be down below 72 degrees.

Tonyia says these big differences in temperatures can be harmful for Dana.

“She can’t go below 73 or above 77 because she could get hyperthermia or hypothermia and it could either damage her brain or kill her,” said Tonyia. “So, what I have to do is play Russian roulette with the thermostat, I go back and forth all night long and don’t get a lot of rest.”

For the past three months, Tonyia has been trying to fix the problem.

She has called several companies to come out and fix it, but many have told her they don’t do duct work over the summer, but with Dana’s condition, she can’t wait any longer to get it fixed.

“I was calling companies crying but nobody seems to understand,” said Tonyia. “She’s my main concern. I can get hot and cold, but it’s her that can’t.”

That’s when Norfolk Air came to check it out. Technicians don’t normally drive all the way to Smithfield, but knew this was urgent.

“Suffolk is usually where we stop, but we try to help people as best we can,” said Matt Smith.

Making Dana’s health the number one priority.

“It’s obviously a priority so we are going to come out here first and see what we can do to help them,” said Smith.