(PIX11) — He invented one of the most well known children’s games, Operation, but 77-year-old John Spinello can’t afford a real life surgery he needs.
Spinello invented the classic game in 1964 when he was just 20 years old, and sold the rights for just $500 to an invention firm.
Spinello says he was also promised a job with the firm upon graduation, but that never materialized.
The game has made an estimated $40 million, but Spinello has never seen any of that money, and now, he can’t afford a $25,000 oral surgery procedure.
“John has had a good life, but has admitted to us that he is struggling to pay his bills and is in need of a medical procedure without sufficient insurance coverage,” his friends Tim Walsh and Peggy Brown wrote of Spinello.
Walsh and Brown have set up a crowd funding page for Spinello to help him pay for his procedure. “We launched this Crowdrise fundraiser to call on anyone who has ever played and loved Operation to send John a note and maybe, a monetary gift of appreciation,” the pair goes on to say.
According to Time, Spinello will auction off the original prototype of the game as well to help pay bills.