Watch: Dying Glastonbury fan to travel to festival by helicopter
A terminally ill festival fan, who has been told he has weeks to live, is being flown to Glastonbury in a helicopter to fulfil his "last wish" after members of the public raised more than £18,000 to pay for it.
Nigel Stonehouse, 58, from Hartlepool says he will be “forever grateful” after it was revealed hospital staff are organising the logistics to ensure he can attend the festival safely despite his terminal kidney cancer.
Due to breathing difficulties, the former builder is being cared for on a respiratory ward at the University Hospital of North Tees, where palliative care nurses Emma Graydon and Robyn Willis are organising his journey to Worthy Farm in Somerset.
“I wouldn’t be going anywhere if wasn’t for the nurses on ward 25,” Mr Stonehouse explains.
“They’ve been absolutely marvellous. I’ve been privileged to be a fly-on-the wall and see the tribulations they go through, like on a night shift.
“They’re wonderful people – they really are.”
Mr Stonehouse has been attending Glastonbury since 1986 and this year’s festival will be his 19th in total.
“They’ve all been good, all the way through… they’ve all been special and different and I’ve been privileged enough to see that change,” he adds.
“It’s always important to go to Glastonbury – we’re a family.”
Folks. I’ve been contacted by the friend of a terminally ill man who wants to go to Glasto 1 last time. He’s so poorly with cancer they’re going to have to fly him in by air ambulance. If you’d join me in helping Nige’s dying wish then pls donate here. https://t.co/Nc9ljPm0jg
— Fatboy Slim (@FatboySlim) June 19, 2022
Asked which act he is most looking forward to seeing this year, Mr Stonehouse said: “Diana Ross! She’s a legend.”
The GoFundMe set up for Mr Stonehouse, entitled Get Nige To Glasto, reached its initial goal of £12,000 just over 24 hours after it was shared by the DJ Fatboy Slim on Twitter.
“Fatboy, what a geezer – you are a man,” Mr Stonehouse says.
“I’m over the moon, I’m one of Fatboy’s disciples.”
The fundraising total has continued to climb and now stands at over £18,700.
As well as raising funds, a couple from a village local to Glastonbury have offered their house to Mr Stonehouse and his friends to use over the course of the festival.
Speaking about the support he has received from the public, Mr Stonehouse adds: “I’m forever grateful for what they’ve done.”
The fundraiser was founded by Mr Stonehouse’s friend, Maria Beggs, who says: “As soon as he told us he was ill, Nigel was saying he wanted to make it to Glastonbury.
“I just can’t get past the public support. He’s got so many people behind him.
“The only thing that could make it even better would be a shout out from Diana Ross during her set on Sunday!”
Ms Willis, a specialist palliative care nurse, said: “It’s very important to fulfil that last wish. He wants to do this.
“It’s not just about going to Glastonbury, it’s about the time with his friends. It’s that one last occasion.”
Additional reporting PA Real Life.