Crowdfunding raises £30,000 for veteran's brain tumour surgery

British army soldier was classified as an overseas patient and billed more than £27,000

Taitusi Ratacaucau in army uniform, 2009
Taitusi Ratacaucau, who has been told he he has no right to be in the UK and must pay £27,000 for his treatment, pictured in 2009. Photograph: //No Credit

Online crowdfunding for the Commonwealth veteran who was billed more than £27,000 for emergency surgery on a brain tumour, despite serving in the British army for a decade, has raised over £30,000 towards his medical and visa bills.

Taitusi Ratacaucau was released from hospital on Wednesday, and is staying in a flat made available for the duration of his convalescence by a wellwisher who read about his difficulties in the Guardian.

Ratacaucau recorded a message of thanks to hundreds of donors who have contributed to his hospital bill. He highlighted the ongoing legal action, which he and seven other Commonwealth veterans from Fiji are pursuing. They allege that the Ministry of Defence failed to offer them adequate advice and support over the steps they needed to take on discharge from the army to regularise their immigration status.

“Thank you very much for your support, compassion and kindness. I feel humbled and relieved to know that there are people out there that care for me, my family and my brothers that are also fighting to stay in this country,” he said. He urged people to support his campaign to persuade the MoD and the Home Office to review its policy on charging Commonwealth veterans fees to permit them to remain in the UK after discharge.

“I hope that justice will prevail and the visa fee policies for the armed forces veterans and their families will be abolished.

British army war veteran Taitusi Ratucaucau sends a "thank you" message to everyone that has kindly donated towards the cost of his medical and visa fees. CNV has been supporting and visiting him at the hospital and he is in high spirits. via

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