(not satire unfortunately – it’s the UK Today!)
This real-life account by a throat cancer victim of the misery caused by ATOS and the bedroom tax speaks for itself:
“Please feel free to share my story wherever you think it may do some good, though for now I’d prefer it if you withhold my name.
Five years ago, I was diagnosed with throat cancer. 12 weeks worth of drastic Radio and chemo therapy eradicated the tumour but left me almost dead through various complications including streptococcal, pneumonia and the dreaded hospital infection.
I lost over half my bodyweight and all my muscles and tendons became almost useless due to wastage brought on by the treatment.
I have now been fighting to gain weight and become healthy but it’s difficult as the treatment has left me unable to swallow solid food and I have had to have all my teeth removed.
I have recently been diagnosed with another side effect of the cancer treatment called Osteoradionecrosis. It is a possible complication following radiotherapy. Irradiation of bones causes damage to osteocytes and impairs the blood supply. The affected hard tissues become hypovascular (reduced number of blood vessels), hypocellular (reduced number of cells) and hypoxic (low levels of oxygen). Osteoradionecrosis is the term for when the area of bone does not heal from this damage. This usually occurs in the mandible, and causes chronic pain and surface ulceration.
We have tried just about everything available to us to try to slow down the degradation of my lower jaw but the specialist now feels that we have no other option but complete removal & replacement of the lower Jaw.
This entails promoting extra new bone growth to the lower leg, then sculpting that bone and using it to replace the jaw,
As you can imagine, this should be a terrifying prospect and as I am still very under weight and weak from the initial treatment and the continuing other side effects such as constant infections and bouts of pneumonia, The chances of surviving such a long and complicated procedure are not favourable but the chances of having my lower jaw suddenly collapse and crumble on me are so high that it’s been decided the operation must be performed as soon as possible.
Last week I went for my final CT scan to the legs to enable the specialist to decide where to anchor and proceed with the new bone growth, and in two weeks time we are meeting with the entire care team to discuss times, dates, procedures and after care etc.
Throughout the entire time, my youngest son has acted as my live in carer and despite of all the hard work that involves he has managed over those five years to get his required GCSE results, complete and pass with distinction a two year Extended Diploma in engineering, undergone more vocational training and has now started to work for himself from home. Why? So that he can continue to care for me.
So where am I going with this? Well let me see, you would think, would you not, that with fighting this damned disease for the last five years, worrying about my sons future prospects and thinking about what’s about to happen to me, you’d be forgiven for thinking that I’ve enough on my plate to worry about right? ….
Wrong. For the last five years I have had to fight and struggle for every penny of benefit. I applied for DLA which took three years to get to tribunal, who instantly granted it, apologised to me and my son for the way we’d been treated by ATOS and the DWP, ordered them to pay 3 years worth of back pay and I thought all would be ok. … Not so, at the earliest opportunity, they stopped my DLA saying it had run out? They took me off incapacity benefit and put me in the ESA Work Group? … Really? I can hardly stand up most days let alone get to work and now they have stopped my appeal to be transferred from the WRAG to the support group without explanation.
On top of all of this, me and my son have fallen foul of the bedroom tax. I have lived in my home for over 30 years. My three sons grew up here and went to the local school. My second son who also supports me when he can, and my little grand daughter live just around the corner, Most of my friends and my support network live in or around the village, I have spent thousands of pounds and hundreds of man hours over the years turning what was a scruffy old 1930’s council house and a jungle of a garden, into a comfortable and pleasant to be in home with a garden designed to relax and as it happens, aid recovery.
My local HA does not have any 2 bed housing stock available, after my operation, I am going to need a live in carer for a while at least (assuming I survive the process) and the council are taking in excess of £10 a week out of my Council tax benefit for an alleged overpayment because we didn’t inform them when my son who lives with me became non dependant. An oversight as opposed to deliberate fraud I hasten to add. So now I am in a situation where the costs of benefit over payment claw back from both the council and the HA, the 15% bedroom tax, and the reduction of council tax benefits. I am now actually expected to pay out more than I have coming in in benefits, and that’s before we think about electric, heating food etc. Not once has there been any mention of the hundreds of thousands of pounds my son has saved them in care costs for me, as, had he left home and left me to my own devices, they would have been responsible for!
Having told my specialist, (luckily one of the countries top maxofacial surgeons) all about this when he enquired into why I was looking so rough and still not putting on any weight, his reply was interesting and not an angle that had previously come to me, he said “ Good god what is the point? We spend quite literally hundreds of hours, and hundreds of thousands of health service pounds on curing you and trying to ensure you are capable of enjoying some quality of life, and those Inglorious Ba****ds wipe out all our hard work with the swipe of a pen” … a very good point in my opinion!
So, far from preparing myself both mentally and physically for the rapidly approaching medical procedures, I am left worrying myself to death about what will happen to us when this all hit’s the fan as it inevitable will as I cannot pay them what they are asking for. I have made it quite clear to the HA that the only way they will get me out of my home is in a wooden box so do your worst, but I am worried sick that they may try to evict my son whilst I am in hospital to such an extent that I have, far from gaining and getting fit, started to lose weight and strength again and the situation has done nothing but exasperate my depression and anxiety attacks.
My one fervent wish now is that one day, in the not too distant future that all of those responsible, and all of those who have supported the outrage that is the welfare reform act, are brought to justice and made to pay for their inhumanity!
Both my father, and my grand father were highly decorated war heroes, I myself have served my country bit within the MoD and the Civil Service. I’m sure they and their comrades are crying in their graves, this is not the England they fought and died for!
I wish you all well in your endeavours. The time has come for us all to set aside our petty differences and rise up with one voice to put these criminals behind bars where they belong!
Love. Peace and unity to all my fellow sufferers and victims of our fascist state. xxx”
Thanks to ATOS MIRACLES for the heads-up on this.
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