For Trish*, concern for her own health issues has increased since losing family members to heart and lung issues, some as recently as last year.

“My mother died in 2014 from a heart attack. Two of my uncles have also died from health complications, one last April from heart and lung disease,” said Trish.

“And when I finally moved out from my ex-husband’s house after domestic violence, I myself had a mild stroke. It’s very hard when you’re going through all that on your own.”

Currently living in public housing, Trish resides with her carer, jointly covering household bills and purchases to make life affordable. When her portable air conditioner broke down over summer, she knew she needed an affordable solution to survive winter.

“I have bad health problems. I can’t handle the cold because one of my legs has a sciatic nerve problem. If I don’t keep it warm, if it gets cold, it will play up all the time,” said Trish.

“I am also an asthmatic. It’s hard in summer as heat triggers the asthma attacks. But it’s difficult in winter because of my leg. It’s important to keep my environment controlled.”

Trish came to BaptistCare and applied for a loan through our No Interest Loan Scheme (NILS) to purchase an air conditioner that would keep her cool in summer and warm in winter. Her NILS loan was approved quickly and her purchase was professionally installed by The Good Guys.

Starting from scratch in household appliances and furniture after leaving her abusive husband, Trish sees the difference in savings on the NILS loan, compared to three other high-cost rental contracts she has in place. The NILS repayments for her $1500 air conditioner are just $45 a fortnight, but perhaps most importantly, she’s noticed a big difference with her health.

“I have noticed the change immediately. It’s been so cold here this winter, and the installer set it up on the heating control, so at night I really notice the difference.”

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*Names have been changed.