BWeaver, you're on the path, now find the best you can get to. Between now and when he has the surgery, have him get in the best physical condition he can, especially in his core. Walking, swimming, situps, etc. If he needs to lose a few pounds, that's even better. Get on a solid healthy diet, plenty of the good stuff. (and an occasional sloppy greasy hamburger just for fun).
The idea is to get strong and healthy for the major surgical injury that is coming. He has some time for this, so get on it.
Oh, and give him plenty of loving between now and then.