Politics

Dying dad crowdfunds for kids’ flights to London and ‘just wants to hug them’

A dad battling a life threatening illness has made a desperate plea to fly his two children to London.

Former Michelin star chef Safi Fafibenslimane, 39, was two hours away from death when he was found collapsed by a neighbour having suffered from a blood infection.

Now the father has said all he wants is to hug his children Amir, 11, and Amelie, 10, and is asking for help to fly them from Mexico to see him for the first time in five years.

READ MORE: ‘I fled war-torn Afghanistan at 15 to escape the Taliban and now I’m an NHS doctor’

“I don’t know how long I’m going to live for,” said Safi, “The doctors said two more hours and I could have died.

“All I want to do is hug them.”

Safi has not seen his children in over five years

The Westminster resident first moved to London 18 years ago but his life was completely transformed when his wife one day returned to her native Mexico and took their children with her to see her unwell mother.

Safi has now not seen his children five and a half years.

“I didn’t take it very well,” he explained to My London, “I wasn’t sleeping or eating.

“I knew something was going to happen. I wasn’t eating. My life changed upside down. I just couldn’t take it.”

He suffered a stroke and was put into a four month long coma.

“I got up to have a shower and just fell down,” Safi explained through his headphones. He can not hold the phone up to his ear due to the stroke. “I woke up a few months later from a coma.

All Safi wants is to hold his children Amir and Amelie
All Safi wants is to hold his children Amir and Amelie

“They couldn’t diagnose the reason for the stroke. They thought it was stress.

“I rely on my carers to do everything for me. I can not even go to the toilet. I’m trying my best to get back on my feet.”

Since the incident Safi has had to use a wheelchair to move around and he is bed bound.

Nonetheless last week he passed his exams to become a medical translator and will help explain conversations in French, Arabic and Spanish.

Every year Safi has been asking his former partner to bring his children to London and now she has agreed to bring them to see him.

Dying dad crowdfunds for kids' flights to London and 'just wants to hug them'

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Safi estimates the cost of flights and accommodation will cost £8000 but since he is on disability benefits he has set up a GoFundMe page to help finance the trip.

“I’ve applied for loans but because I am not working they get declined. All I want is to spend a month with my children.”

You can donate to Safi’s GoFundMe page here.

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