VITAL funds are being raised to save the life of a loved father and grandfather from Hexham.

Jeff Kay, 71, had lived in the town until he retired five years ago and followed his dream to move to Thailand.

Jeff worked as a heavy goods driver and was well-known in The Globe pub in town, his youngest daughter, Alice, said.

Jeff Kay with his grandsonJeff Kay with his grandson (Image: Supplied)

His family set up a GoFundMe page on Sunday (July 7) to pay for a life-saving operation after hearing the news Jeff had suddenly become unwell.

Alice, 28, said she got a phone call at 3am from his wife, Jai, to say he had complained of chest pains and wanted to go to the doctor.

Jeff and AliceJeff and Alice (Image: Supplied)

"He ended up getting admitted to hospital with blood clots around the heart and his kidneys aren't doing well either. He's got fluid on his lungs," Alice said.

"He's currently in the intensive care unit so we can't speak to him because they won't let anyone in, even on the phone. Jai hasn't left the hospital so she's keeping us updated."

The family has contacted the British Embassy, which is dealing with the paperwork and sending documentation of Jeff's medical records to them.

He is too sick to return to the UK so he urgently requires an operation in Thailand, however, there is no equivalent service to the NHS so all operations must be paid for.

Jeff's life-saving operation costs £5,000 and the GoFundMe has so far raised £1,917.

"If he doesn't get the operation, he will die," Alice said. "He can't not have the operation.

"We're still trying to find out what the options are, but we know we need the money to get the operation done. Even with all the family working, we just haven't got £5,000 in the bank. It's an absolute nightmare, you shouldn't have to think about money when it comes to something like this," she said.

"My dad would do anything for anyone, he's always helped everyone he can and would give anyone his last penny. 

"Loads of people know him in Hexham, and I think if anyone can help, it's Hexham. We all stick together and we wouldn't ask if we weren't desperate," she added.

To donate to the GoFundMe page, go to