'It's too easy to sit and watch Deal or No Deal'- paralysed former soldier Tom Weaver
A SOLDIER who relies on a wheelchair has launched a battle to get back into the workplace.
Tom Weaver spent 32 years working in a variety of different jobs and had always been healthy until one day he was struck down with a brain haemorrhage.
It led the 49-year-old to suffer a massive stroke leading him to become paralysed on the left side of his body.
He is also partially-sighted.
Mr Weaver said he wanted to do more than sit in front of daytime television and rely on benefits every day and was determined to find himself work even if it was only for a number of hours per week.
He previously served with the Royal Signals for six-and-a-half years and The 1st Battalion The Prince of Wales's Own Regiment of Yorkshire for two-and-a-half years.
Mr Weaver, of Cefn Glas in Bridgend, who is originally from Leeds, said: "I have been like a Tonka toy bullet-proof all my life — I have never been ill.
"But I was taking my partner Helen to go for something to eat.
"She asked me if I was feeling okay as I was crunching the gears as I was driving along the M4. I said I didn't feel well but I went to the take away to get food. I had trouble to get my money out and with walking.
"I started walking sideways. I didn't realise what was happening."
His partner Helen Harding, aged 34, drove him to Princess of Wales Hospital in Bridgend but as she did so he became unconscious and he lost the ability to walk. He had to be transferred to Swansea's Morriston Hospital to undergo a CT scan.
"My blood pressure went so high it ripped a hole in my brain — I had a brain haemorrhage," he said. "The bleed caused a massive stroke that paralysed me on the left side of my body."
Mr Weaver was then transferred back to the Bridgend hospital for three and a half months after a week spent in Morriston Hospital.
His health battle led him to suffer suicidal thoughts.
Before he was taken ill he was a manager at Cwmderi Kiosk in McArthurGlen in Bridgend, who had kept his job open for some time after he was taken ill in June last year.
But he had little option but to resign due to his health problems.
Mr Weaver said he was looking for office based work, as he has been on disability, carers, mobility, council tax, employment support and housing benefit after needing a wheelchair to get around.
"I do not need to work but that does not mean that it's morally right not to," he said. "I have been told going back to work could be too big an ask but it's too easy to sit and watch Deal or No Deal and Judge Judy.
"I worked for 32 years and now every month I'm dipping into people's wallets and purses as I have benefits. If I could work it would lower the burden."
Anyone who is able to offer Mr Weaver a job should contact Liz Perkins at the Post on 01792 545551 or elizabeth.perkins@ swwmedia.co.uk