AN APPEAL to raise funds for a teenager to have a life-changing final operation has nearly reached the halfway point with £6,000 raised.

Local residents are being urged to support Portland fundraisers’ final push to give Stefan Savic, aged 14, of Bosnia, the face he has longed for.

When the Stefan appeal reaches the £15,000 mark, he will be flown over to London to have an operation which will improve his breathing.

The operation, to be performed at Great Ormond Street Hospital, will also mark the final transformation of Stefan’s face, after he was born with a block of bone in the centre of his face which pushed his eyes far apart.

Surgeon David Dunaway, who performed the first corrective operation for Stefan in 2003, which was made possible by Dorset residents, will give his services again for free. A recent collection in Asda Weymouth raised around £400 for the appeal with shoppers giving to a bucket collection in the foyer.

Stefan Appeal fundraiser Sandy West, also the store’s community champion, said: “It’s fantastic what shoppers have done. We were able to donate some toys so the children whose families gave money were able to have a thank you.

“Stefan is a special boy and he’s going to have a fantastic life. The people of Dorset took him to their hearts and many remember him from more than 10 years ago and want to help once again.”

Former Weyline Taxis owner Calvin Stone helped with the collection in Asda.

He said: “People have been very generous even though times are tough.

“We’re going to carry on with the fundraising until we hit our target.”

Wayne Ingram, of Portland, who became aware of Stefan’s plight when he was serving in Bosnia, said: “I’d like to thank everyone who has donated money to help raise this amount to date, especially Sandy West and Calvin Stone for their help raising money in Asda.”

Slave Savic, Stefan’s mum, said: “I’d like to say a big thank you to the people of Dorset for everything they’ve done and are doing.

“We will come to Weymouth and say a personal thank you after the surgery has taken place.”

To donate, see or cheques made payable to the Stefan Savic Appeal can be sent c/o Wayne Ingram, 17 Court Barton, Portland DT5 2HJ.