British father relying on donations for ‘last chance’ life-saving surgery abroad

By Max McLean, PA
·1-min read

A British father of two young children is relying on donations from the public for a “last chance” to get life-saving surgery in Geneva.

Ben Wolfenden, 37, from Bingley, Bradford, has raised more than £100,000 towards a second lung transplant after an impassioned plea through fundraising website GoFundMe.

Mr Wolfenden, who has cystic fibrosis, required an emergency lung transplant in 2019 after developing diabetes and catching swine flu, but said that during his recovery a miscalculation was made regarding his anti-rejection drugs.

Having been denied a second transplant in the UK, an expert in Switzerland has given him hope.

“We found a professor in Geneva who is willing to put me on their transplant list, so that’s my final chance,” Mr Wolfenden said in an emotional video appeal.

Mr Wolfenden, who is married to wife Daisy and has two children, six-year-old Max and three-year-old Ivy, will need to take up residency in Geneva to be added to the transplant list, with costs such as accommodation, health insurance and post-surgery care to be covered by the money raised.

“This is my last chance to see my children grow up, meet their first boyfriend/girlfriend, see them flourish and deliver that proud speech on their wedding day,” Mr Wolfenden wrote on his fundraising page.

“As a couple, Daisy and I have spent the last few weeks talking to Max about the fact that his Daddy is dying. Imagine trying to tell your six-year-old you might not be there for Christmas.”

Mr Wolfenden’s target currently stands at £175,000 – his fundraising page can be found at uk.gofundme.com/f/ben-wolfendens-final-chance.