A FLINTSHIRE woman says she is unable to power her "life saving" medical apparatus due to spiralling energy bills. 

Paula Roberts, from Flint, is reliant on a sleep apnoea machine to provide her with steady air pressure to help her breathe while she sleeps. 

The 59-year-old says she could die in her sleep if she chokes - something the CPAP machine prevents. 

The Leader:

But she is unable to use it as her energy bill sky rockets. 

"My electricity and gas bill has gone from £42 to over £90 this month - and it's going to go up again," she said. 

"It's making me ill with worry thinking about it. If I don't use my machine, at worst I'm unable to function properly during the day - at worst I could die. It's a life-saving machine but it's costing me £2 to use and I simply can't afford to pay my energy bill."

READ MORE: Event to help with cost of living support to be held

Paula is unable to work due to a series of complex health issues and says a combination of Universal Credit and cost of living payments from the government won't even "scratch the surface". 

She said: "I don't think it's enough. The £150 disability payment will probably be gone, if we're being realistic, in a couple of weeks on the extra electricity."

And Paula is by no means alone. Some 900,000 disabled people live in fuel poverty and millions more are at risk of suffering similar hardship as a result of substantial energy price cap hikes, campaigners have warned.

READ MORE: How you could save yourself money when cooking this winter

Paula said: "I look at the meter every day and I'm so worried. I’m petrified of getting into debt and using my machine now will leave me overdrawn.

"It's like I'm choosing whether to eat or breathe."

Nuala Tooman, from Disability Action, said: “The fact disabled people are having to ration access to life saving kit shows they are facing spiralling costs.

“That means that as winter approaches disabled people will lose their lives. The cost of living emergency is pricing disabled people out of existence."

  • Your Money Matters is a campaign launched by us and our sister titles across Newsquest to help you overcome the surge in the cost of living. This year has seen a whole host of household price increases — from the energy price cap rise to surging inflation and food prices — costing your family hundreds or even thousands of pounds extra per year. We’re making it our mission to look out for your cash, offering money-saving deals, competitions, giveaways and insightful stories from your community on the impact this cost-of-living crisis is having on our readers. The worldwide energy crisis exacerbated by the Ukraine invasion, the financial impact of the Covid pandemic, record inflation figures and a surge in the cost of goods, fuel and travel means we will all feel the pinch. Through our newspaper, we want to do what we can to help make your cash go further because we know your money matters.