Marie and her husband are like many young Australian families. Homeowners, full-time working professionals and parents to two small children. Their life was busy and they worked hard to juggle it all but they loved their simple and normal day-to-day life.
Then, only two days before Christmas, Marie who is in her 30s, suffered a stroke whilst nursing her unwell child. Their lives changed forever and it would only become more difficult months later when Marie’s husband lost his job due to COVID-19.
Never could they have expected this to happen to them. Thankfully, they made the decision to take out an ALI Group policy with their mortgage broker when purchasing their investment property.
This is Marie’s story…
One morning, only two days before Christmas, Marie woke to an unwell toddler. Waking her husband to help her, Marie began to feel unwell herself. Whilst she breastfed her child, hoping to settle her, Marie was struggling to stay awake. Standing up to go find her husband, Marie was talking and reassuring her child “I’m taking you to see papa” she said. It was at this point, Marie realised her ability to talk was becoming difficult and her speech was beginning to slur.
When Marie got to the lounge room her husband noticed immediately that her face had dropped.
She was having a stroke.
Calling the ambulance straight away, they managed to catch the stroke early. Whilst things could have been worse for Marie, the road to recovery has been long and every day since has been a struggle.
Rehabilitation and recovery
After spending some time in hospital, Marie was then transferred into a rehabilitation clinic. Since then, she has been transferred to a brain injury rehab service. Unfortunately, Marie is still unable to work and her return will be a slow and gradual process.
Taking out the ALI policy
Marie and her husband used a mortgage broker to help them purchase an investment property. Eventually, they decided to live in the property permanently. When going through the buying journey with their broker, they wanted to protect themselves financially so they took out an ALI policy.
After Marie’s stroke, there was a sudden passing of a family member around the same time. Attending the funeral, she ran into her mortgage broker who reminded her about the policy they took out with ALI.
“I saw my broker at a funeral, it was such a terrible time and I just wasn’t thinking properly. He reminded me about the protection and I kind of put it aside for a short while because I wasn’t in the right headspace. Then eventually I contacted ALI Group to start the claims process”.
Marie’s claim experience with ALI
“At first, when the email came through I gasped. But when I went through everything step by step and provided everything needed, it was actually a really simple process. I thought maybe they would want more information than what I gave but I followed the steps and what was required and I have to say, it was easy. I didn’t really feel overwhelmed by any of it”.
What it meant to receive the lump sum payment
Currently, Marie is unable to work due to her stroke and due to COVID-19 her husband also isn’t working making their financial situation incredibly stressful on top of everything else. Thankfully, because they took out the policy, Marie and her husband have been able to keep afloat and focus their energy on parenting and Marie’s rehab.
“I don’t know what it’s going to look like when I do go back to work, what my duties are going to be. So having the money from the claim has helped so much with bills and payments that I had to put on hold. We were on payment plans to help us through initially and then they started creeping up as well. My income from my job contributed a lot to the household and then not having that income has been really tough on our family. When we put the claim in and it was approved, it was such an overwhelming day, it was a really emotional day”.
Marie considers herself very lucky to have had the policy to claim on and be able to receive the money to relieve a lot of the financial burden her and her husband were facing.
“I would give anything to just be back where I was before the stroke, going about my day as normal and not having the challenges I have now. I consider myself lucky though, there’s people that go through even worse. There’s all different kind of deficits after a stroke. Mine are more of a cognitive issue and I have weakness in my right side as well but not as debilitating as others, though enough to really affect my life”.
The emotional strain of financial stress
Marie’s life has changed dramatically since suffering a stroke in her 30s. Now learning to deal with issues she has not encountered before such as anxiety and depression.
“Receiving the money from our claim really did help with my mental health as well. Money problems give you anxiety, so it helped me think that I just don’t have to worry about that right now. The money is there and it’s so nice knowing it’s ours to use when and how we please”.
Without the cover
Marie’s sister-in-law was diagnosed with cancer and she saw firsthand how hard it was for her brother and his family to deal with the stress of not having anything in place.Seeing what they had to face without any cover in place urged her to re-think her own future plans. When Marie’s broker had the discussion with her and her husband, they didn’t hesitate to take out the cover.
“I have no idea what we would have done if we never took out the ALI policy. Now, with COVID-19 in the mix, we would have been absolutely buggered, to be honest. My husband is out of work because of COVID-19 so I think if we didn’t have the cover, it would have forced me back to work before I was ready. I wouldn’t have been able to focus on myself as much and I realise now how detrimental that would have been to me. If I think about it for too long, I will have a panic attack. I’m just so glad we took out the ALI policy”.