Appeal launched to help family of heart transplant dad

A fundraiser has been launched to help raise money for a young mum who has lost all financial support while her husband lies seriously ill in hospital.
Dave, Louise and George before Dave's opDave, Louise and George before Dave's op
Dave, Louise and George before Dave's op

Dave Hughes, 32, and his wife Louise, have lost hundreds of pounds in benefits after he went into Newcastle hospital in February for a heart transplant.

Under current legislation, Dave’s Personal Independent Payment (PIP) and Louise’s carers’ allowance were both stopped after Dave was in hospital for 28 days.

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After numerous meetings with social workers, 24-year-old Louise was told that there are no other benefits available to support her and her 19-month-old son George.

Amber Hagan, who met Louise at the Freeman Hospital transplant unit where her partner is also seriously ill, has now launched a fundraiser after getting to know the family and understanding their situation.

She said: “Despite living hours away from the Freeman Hospital and having a young son, Louise has not left Dave’s side, she’s a rock and one of the most strong and positive people I’ve ever met.

“Louise has now been informed that almost all of Dave’s benefits will be stopped whilst he remains in hospital despite the financial pressure that comes with supporting someone in hospital, trying to keep a home and look after herself and her son.

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“Dave and Louise have been dragged through hell and back and now face the long road to recovery to being able to be together as a family again. If anyone could spare anything to give a wonderful young family one less thing to worry about it and the chance to remain as normal as possible it would be greatly appreciated.”

The fundraiser aims to generate at least £6,000 to help them back on their feet.

A DWP spokesperson said: “We’re committed to ensuring that people get the right support that they need. If Mrs Hughes is struggling financially we urge her to contact the DWP or her local council to see what benefits and support she may be entitled to.

“We spend around £90bn a year supporting people, including those who are out of work or on a low income."

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The spokesperson explained that PIP is designed to help with the extra costs of living with a long-term health condition or disability, and if someone spends more than 28 days in hospital then their care is managed and funded by the NHS.

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