Can you help make gardening surprise a reality for St Albans double transplant dad?

Philip Broadley's garden, as it is now.

Philip Broadley's garden, as it is now. - Credit: Archant

A local mum has appealed for help to set up a welcome home surprise for her husband as he recovers from a double lung transplant.

Philip Broadley's rough garden plan

Philip Broadley's rough garden plan - Credit: Archant

On Saturday, after months on a waiting list, Philip Broadley finally received the life-saving surgery he needed to ease a deteriorating airways enlargement condition called bronchiectasis.

The 35-year-old, who lives in London Colney, was under the knife for about eight hours and in all likelihood will not be able to leave London’s Harefield Hospital for a month or more.

Philip’s wife Michelle would like to organise a surprise for his return home by installing a new pathway through their boggy garden, which would make it more accessible for his medical equipment.

Philip has wanted to do the work for a long time, but has been too weak - the condition causes chronic coughing, breathlessness, and coughing up blood.

Michelle explained: “I could not put into words what it would mean - it has been an emotional rollercoaster of a weekend and it would be amazing.

“We have had our eyes as opened as they can be to the process that people go through if you need a transplant. You can say to people as much as you would like that it is amazing, but you can’t fully understand until you are here.

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“This garden would be the icing on the cake, to have somewhere for him to sit and not have to look out at the work that needs doing and worry about hurrying himself.”

She stressed it would not be a dramatic transformation needing too much work.

It would also mean their children - eldest Noah and fellow bronchiectasis sufferer Olivia - could get more enjoyment out of their play equipment.

However, she cannot do the work herself, and has appealed for any local volunteers to make the surprise a reality.

Michelle and Philip have also been fundraising to thank Harefield Hospital. A 26-strong 5k fun-run team collected more than £1,600 last year, and they have organised a charity Clubbercise class for April 25.

Tickets to the 45-minute workout and raffle, which starts at 7.30pm at Marlborough Science Academy, are available by donating £7 to and quoting clubbercise in the comment section.

Volunteers who would like to help Michelle revamp the garden should email her at