I just found out that Karen Sherlock, @pusscat01 has passed away.
Here is here twitter profile : "Chronic Spoonie, lots wrong. ESA stopped by this inhumane government. Preparing for dialysis. Each day is tough."
Karen embodied our fight in almost every way. She was desperately ill. Her kidneys were failing, putting a huge strain on her body. Ultimately it seems she died of a cardiac arrest. An operation had recently been cancelled at the last minute, though I have no idea why or if it is relevant to her death.
She had been found capable of some work by the DWP. Placed in the Work Related Activity Group, her Employment and Support Allowance was time limited to one year after the welfare reform bill went through. Not only that, but it was limited retrospectively, meaning that she only had a few months left to appeal for long term support (Support Group) before she lost everything.
I won't go into more detail here. It's not for me to list her complaints and trials, but there is one thing everyone in this country should know.
She was terrified. Beside herself with fear. She lived her last months desperately scared that her family would not survive the onslaught it faced. She was "the most vulnerable" whatever that is. The system failed her and she spent her last precious moments in this world fighting. For herself, for her family and for others.
She was one of us. She was Spartacus. And now she's dead and she died in fear because the system failed her, because cruel men refused listen and powerful men refused to act.
She spent her last months fighting for the "security" of £96 a week and the reassurance that it couldn't be taken away. She won her battle. Just two weeks ago she was finally put into the Support Group of ESA. After months of unbearable stress, resilient commitment and endurance beyond comprehension, she won her battle.
But she lost her war and we must all make sure that whatever comes, we win that war in her name and in the names of the many thousands more fighting for life and dignity.
RIP Karen. We WON'T forget you.