Former RAF pilot Len Parry was admitted to Bradford Royal Infirmary on February 4, to have a melanoma removed from his head, but had to stay overnight following a fall, when opportunist thieves struck at his bungalow in Skipton.
Mr Parry, who fled Japanese soldiers after being taken prisoner in Singapore during the Second World War, went to get some money from his safe on February 12, when he discovered it had been stolen. Inside was nearly £4000 in cash.
There was no sign of a break in at his property to arouse any suspicion.
Mr Parry said: "It was a bit of a shock when I discovered the safe and money had been taken. It upsets me to think someone could do something like this. I was in hospital at the time having a small operation on my head and had a lump taken off. Unfortunately I fell while I was in hospital so had to stay in for a bit longer to be checked over, and the burglary must have happened then."
As well as the money, which Mr Parry was going to use to pay for a new roof at the home he has lived in for 50 years, the safe also contained his cheque book, driving licence and passport.
Mr Parry's family told The Yorkshire Post the burglary had hit him hard and made him question whether he should relocate to a nursing home, despite being very independent and still driving and doing his own food shopping.
After the initial shock, Mr Parry said he now has to show "fighting spirit" and get on with his life.
He said: "I have got to get over this. It has been a bit of a shock at my age, but you have to get on with things, don't you?"
The Yorkshire Post has now set up a fundraising campaign through the Just Giving website to help raise £3000 for Mr Parry.
Donations, however small or big, will be extremely welcome, as well as messages of support to the war veteran.
Anyone wishing to donate can click here.