David

David

It started with a stye. At least that was David thought that the lump on his bottom eyelid was. At the hospital, it was diagnosed as a cyst, but in a week, it had doubled in size, and now covered all his bottom eyelid.

David recalls: “I was sent to UCH, who told me: ‘It’s Squamous Cell Carcinoma’, which is a form of skin cancer. ‘But it's so far along that it's attached itself to the eye socket and a bit of your nose bone. You need to lose the eye.’ They took out my eye, but within two weeks, I was getting serious head pains again.”

“The oncologist said to me, ‘The cancer's back’. I was doing one chemotherapy session a week, plus radiotherapy every day. I was in so much pain. I had to take morphine every day. All I could take in were nutrients drinks. I couldn't eat because my mouth was swollen. I couldn't taste anything.

“I felt I didn't want to carry on. The only thing that kept me going was my daughter. She's nine, so she's my little angel.”

All this time David, of course, had been off work. He was only getting Statutory Sick Pay of £200 a month. And after six months, that ended. After eight months of the gruelling treatment, and recovery, he was declared fit for work – a huge relief because finances had been very hard.
His employer, a large security firm, said he couldn’t come back until he was cleared by Occupational Health.

David would keep asking whether he could have the assessment, but he kept being fobbed off by the company. Fortunately, a friend told him about Paperweight. We got one of our employment specialists, Claudia, involved.

Claudia takes up the story. “The company was fobbing David off, and this had legal implications, because after a few more months they could say the position was no longer available. We wrote to the company on David’s behalf, which got their attention – David was back to work within a week.

“But I wasn’t satisfied with that. I told David he was entitled to the pay he had lost from the two months he’d been waiting. The company didn’t want to play ball, so we took the case to the arbitration service, ACAS. At that point, the company made a settlement offer, but I advised David to hold out. ACAS awarded David almost all that we were asking for: over £5,000.”

David says, “I can't thank Paperweight enough. Without their help, I wouldn’t have known where to start in fighting this. I don’t have the contacts, I don't know how the system works. Paperweight have been very good for me. More people should know about them.”

I felt I didn't want to carry on. The only thing that kept me going was my daughter. She's nine, so she's my little angel.

david

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