Tim Smith, leader of the highly influential progressive punk band Cardiacs, has been hospitalized since 2008 with a condition that is "complex and poorly understood." Though "he has resisted publicity up until now," his friends and family are now looking to raise money to help with his recovery, and they say, "If he could recover enough to use a mouse he could make music again; if he can find his voice he will be able to boss us about in the studio; it feels as though he is finally being given a chance to come back to us." The goal of £40,000 has actually already been met, but you can still donate. Here's more:

A cardiac arrest suffered in 2008 left him with severe brain damage and a condition called dystonia. Mentally he’s as sharp as ever. His ability to move and speak, however, is minimal. Funding shortfalls and bureaucracy have seen his rehabilitation grind to a halt, along with his ability to make music.

Tim's condition is complex and poorly understood. He has responded positively to treatment when his income has afforded it. A tribute record, fundraising gigs, reissues of his music and conventions attended by devoted fans have helped. But he is now entering his tenth year of inadequate care. ‘The only way I can try and let you know how I feel at the moment,’ Smith says, ‘is, imagine if you were wearing a skintight bodysuit made of fishnet all around you with electrical pulses going all the...time. This is what my body feels like unless I fall asleep’.

...A charity called the Raphael Hospital Group, run by Dr. Gerhardt Florschutz, has bought the facility Tim lives in and is able to provide him and his fellow patients with the input necessary to make progress. This, of course, comes at a price and while he waits to hear about the possibility of funding, vital time is being wasted. We want to raise £40,000 so that he can finally afford the care he has needed since the beginning of his illness. If we raise more, it will allow him secure funding for a longer period.

In case you're unfamiliar with Cardiacs, they've been called an influence by Radiohead, Blur, Faith No More, Tool, Porcupine Tree, and others, and they have a handful of classic, timeless albums, including 1988's nearly perfect A Little Man and a House and the Whole World Window. Listen to that one below.