IF Lyn Stokes can sell her engagement and eternity rings she can afford to pay her rates this year.
If she can't, she will have to pull "$600 out of thin air" to cover the bill.
"It's really hit hard this time," the Mount Morgan pensioner said yesterday. "Things are really tight."
Lyn is not pointing the finger at council over its annual charges. Rather, she says her situation typifies the financial plight of those who are "suffering through no fault of their own".
Lyn has no savings to call on. She has used what money she had to cover medical costs for her son Calven, who had a heart transplant in January 2012 and is now waiting for a kidney transplant.
She has been her son's sole carer for more than five years, since the death of her husband Albert.
Calven, now 43, has suffered from a number of health problems including dilated cardiomyopathy - a pre-cursor to heart failure, hyperlipidemia and renal impairment.
His long wait for the heart transplant damaged his kidneys, as did the anti-rejection drugs he was placed on after the life-saving operation.
He is now on dialysis three days a week. He and Lyn have to make regular visits to Brisbane for ongoing medical checks and testing.
"Calven is a very nervous young man," Lyn said. "He is very reliant on me. If I am not with him he goes into a panic."
Lyn, 65, is not sure how she will pay her rates notice, which is more than $1000, if her rings don't sell.
She is having money taken directly from her pension but she fears she will still be about $600 short.
"I have reached a stalemate. Everyone has been so good and done what they can but how long can they keep helping?"
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