Builder who ‘died for 25 minutes’ furious at being forced to live on £ 100 a week
Chris Dwane, 62, was working in London when he suffered sudden cardiac arrest at a construction site in 2014, leaving him unable to work and forced to live on just £ 100 a week.
Image: MEN’S MEDIA)
A construction worker who died 25 minutes after suffering cardiac arrest described his desperation after being left with just £ 100 a week to live on.
Chris Dwane, 62, was working in London when he suffered sudden cardiac arrest on a construction site in 2014, which eventually resulted in him wearing a pacemaker and an implantable cardioverter defibrillator, which helps monitor the heart and blood flow around the body.
Chris had worked for 38 years previously and said he sometimes made up to £ 4,000 a month while doing a job he loved, GrimsbyLive Reports.
But now he’s only getting £ 400 a month with no further help, and he’s not eligible for Personal Independence Payments (PIPs).
He said, “I was clinically dead for 25 minutes. They call it ‘downtime’ in the emergency services game. It’s from the time you call 999 until the time you call. get to the hospital.
“Honestly, I don’t remember anything of what happened. It was a blur from when I woke up in Lincoln County Hospital three weeks later after being pronounced dead. I’m grateful to two guys called Phil Harrison and Dave Baker who gave me CPR, they saved my life.
Now what scares Chris the most is not being able to retrain and get back to work.
He has worked extensively in Scunthorpe and Grimsby over the years, having worked at Grimsby station and an M Gas depot in Scunthorpe.
Chris worked on the development of the London Eye in the 1990s, as well as Tower Bridge and the Thames Barrier.
He said: “The saddest thing is that I have had this same discussion with my family on several occasions – there is no work for me there. I have worked on construction sites. all my life.
“I’m 62 and no one is going to retrain me at that age. And I’m not considered worth it because I’ll be of retirement age in a few years.”
Chris has not worked since his cardiac arrest and now feels left behind by the government due to a lack of funding and support.
“I feel abandoned by the benefit system. I only get an employment support allowance of around £ 400 a month. Living on £ 100 a week is just not enough to live on. don’t pay my bills or my food. It doesn’t. a lot to live with.
“Every doctor I’ve spoken to says I’ll never be able to work again. My partner works as a minimum wage caregiver and she earns £ 1,200 a month. So between us we earn £ 1,600,” Chris said.
The couple are now struggling to pay the bills, and despite cashing in on his pension, Chris says he will run out of money at 64.
He added: “It really worries me and it’s hard for no one in the system to listen to me. I’ve tried every avenue I can to get financial support, but no one is listening to me.”
He managed to get by when he received a payment in lieu of notice of £ 4,000 from his former employer after he was no longer able to work.
After the cardiac arrest, Chris received critical life insurance payments – something he had been paying for since he was 20 years old – which helped him and his family survive.
However, payments stopped arriving for Chris over two years ago and he is now in dire straits.
“My biggest fear is being homeless. We are currently renting a house and it’s a struggle every month.”
The grief didn’t stop for Chris when he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2018.
He added: “The left side of my body is shaking uncontrollably and I’m very weak. It doesn’t help that I’m left-handed. They say when it rains it rains. It’s my driving that is the most. affected.
“I was told that I would need an automatic transmission. I also have trouble changing gears, which is a danger to myself and to others. And with the lack of money, I can’t afford an automatic. “
Chris adds, “Doctors at Lincoln County Hospital and Nottingham City Hospital say my heart isn’t strong enough and it wouldn’t take the pressure.
“I feel like I will be forced to work even though I have Parkinson’s disease and a serious heart problem. I am desperate about what the future holds.”
And Chris feels very disappointed with the benefit system because he was turned down for personal independence payments.
He adds, “There are assessments involved where you have to prove that you can’t do everyday chores like getting dressed. You have to prove that you can’t do 24 tasks or the government won’t pay you the money.
“Unfortunately, I can do things like make a sandwich or a cup of tea. What annoys me the most is that there are people who work and get PIPs. I can’t work and I cannot receive PIP How does it work?
“And I don’t like to think that my conditions prevent me from enjoying the finer things in life like walking the dog for example, but I can’t do the job I love.
“This is the answer I wrote when I applied for PIP. When asked if I could climb a staircase or if I could conduct a conversation, I answered” yes, but I cannot. not doing the job I love “.
“This PIP money would mean the world to me. Another £ 500 a month would allow me to pay the bills and pay for my food instead of worrying about the next day.
“It would give me both financial and mental peace of mind. I cannot retrain as it is not financially viable for companies as I only have three years of work left before I reach retirement age. . “
The former Grimsby construction worker from Lincoln believes his quality of life has declined rapidly since the cardiac arrest.
Chris says: “I once made almost £ 4000 a month from the job I loved. And now earning £ 400 a month is really changing my life. I’m happy to live, but I don’t have much to live for. because with the lack of help from the government, I also had the coronavirus which left me in a difficult situation – but I finally managed to get out of it.
“I’m so grateful to the NHS because it’s the best thing that can happen to this country and they saved my life. But the government is letting me down and I’m worried about my future. My family might- Does she live knowing that I died on my return to work, even though the doctors said it would kill me? It really shows the desperation of my position. “