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A construction worker who was ‘clinically dead’ for 25 minutes after he suffered a heart attack is scared of not being able to go back to work.
Chris Dwane, 62, from Lincoln, was working in London when he suddenly had a cardiac arrest on a building site in 2014 at the age of 55, GrimsbyLive reports.
He said: "I honestly can't remember a thing about what happened. It was a blur from that moment I woke up at Lincoln County Hospital three weeks later after being pronounced dead.
“I'm thankful to two lads called Phil Harrison and Dave Baker who gave me CPR. They saved my life."
Following the incident Chris was fitted with a pacemaker and an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator, which helps to monitor the heart and blood flow around the body.
Now, what scares Chris the most is not being able to retrain and go back to work.
He said: "The saddest thing is that I've had this same discussion with my family many times – there isn't a job for me out there. I've been working on construction sites all my life.
"I'm 62 years old and no one is going to retrain me at that age. And I'm seen as not being worth the money because I'll be of retirement age in a few years."
Chris hasn't worked since having the cardiac arrest and feels forgotten by the government with a lack of funding and support.
He added: "I feel let down by the benefits system. I only receive employment support allowance of around £400 a month. Living on a £100 a week is just not enough to live. It doesn't pay my bills or my food. It's not a lot to live on.
"Every doctor I've spoken to says that I'll never be able to work again. My partner is working as a carer on the minimum wage and she brings home £1,200 a month. So, between us, we bring home £1,600.”
"We struggle to pay all the bills and live on that. It's heartbreaking for us. If I didn't have her, I'd have no hope because you can't live on £100 as a single man in a rented property.
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"It really is worrying me and it's difficult that no one in the system will listen to me. I've tried every possible avenue of getting financial support, but no one listens. "
Chris had been working for 38 years before the cardiac arrest.
He managed to scrape by when he received payment in lieu of notice of £4,000 from his former employer after he was no longer able to work.
In desperation at the current situation, Chris has had to cash in his pension early in order to make ends meet.
After the cardiac arrest, Chris received Critical Life Insurance payments – something he had been paying since he was in his 20s – which helped him and his family survive.
However, the payments stopped coming in over two years ago and he is now in a desperate situation.
"My biggest fear is being homeless. We're currently renting a house at the moment and that's a struggle every month."
Chris feels very let down by the benefits system because he's been turned down for Personal Independence Payments.
He added: "There are assessments involved where you have to prove that you can't do daily tasks like getting dressed. You need to prove that you can't do 24 tasks, or the government won't pay you the money.
"Sadly, I can do things like making a sandwich or a cup of tea. What annoys me most is that there are people who work and receive PIPs. I can't work, and I can't receive PIPs. How does that work?
"That PIP money would mean the world to me. Another £500 a month would ensure I can pay the bills and pay for my food instead of worrying about the next day."
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