BRISTOL, Tennessee - A local woman struggling with her own health spends weeks shivering inside her home, unable to afford heat.
Now a local company is stepping in offering a gift of warmth, comfort, and even safety. News 5 found out what motivated this special act of kindness.
Installing a heat pump is an everyday chore for Bristol Heating and Air crews, but for Mildred Miller, it's so much more than that.
Miller, who told us she was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, said in the thick of this winter her heat pump broke. "The blower went out," Miller explained.
For the past month, staying warm has been nothing short of a challenge. "The heating pad, [I] got it on and covered up with a lot of blankets. [I'm] mostly trying to stay warm that way, but that mostly confined me," Miller told us.
Miller actually used her oven and her stove to get some warmth inside her home. She said she knew it was dangerous, but she had to do it anyway.
Miller got an estimate from Mike Tiller, a consultant for Bristol Heating and Air, for a new heat pump but couldn't get financing approved at multiple places.
That's when Tiller stepped back in. "Last weekend we had the snow, I sat at home and worried myself to death about Ms. Miller. I said, 'we've got to do this,'" Miller said.
Bristol Heating and Air offered to donate and install a new heat pump. "When you think about those things coming to you like that, immediately you think well how can we help?" said Rick Millsap, owner of Bristol Heating and Air.
As crews worked diligently to turn the heat back on, it's not just Miller's home getting warmer. "[It's] a blessing, really a blessing where I can stay warm and can get up and move around," Miller told us.
It's also her heart. "There [are] good people and caring people," added Miller. "I'm so thankful; really."
A financial fact that makes Miller overwhelmingly grateful: We learned a new heat pump costs about $3,000 to $4,000.
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