A FUNDRAISING hero is fighting for his life in intensive care after suffering multiple organ failure.

Billy Birch, 76, was admitted to the Countess of Chester Hospital on Wednesday last week with stomach pains.

He was taken in for surgery – but a number of complications meant his major organs began to shut down over the course of a 10-hour operation.

Billy's son Mally told the Standard his dad had been placed in an induced coma and was now on life-support.

He urged all of Billy's friends and supporters to pray for him and send positive thoughts.

“We were told it would be a miracle if dad survived the weekend but he's still hanging in there, fighting,” said Mally.

“Hopefully everyone can pray for him and he'll have a speedy recovery. When he comes round he'll realise that all these people are behind him and he's got all this positive energy around him.”

Billy, from Ellesmere Port, has been raising money for worthy causes in the area for more than 20 years, in memory of his late wife Sylvia. To date he has raised more than £113,000.

He survived a work accident in 1991 that saw him crushed between a skip and a truck. Emerging from a three-week coma he vowed to do all he could to help medical services in the area.

He began collecting for the Countess of Chester Hospital but most recently has been focusing his efforts on the Deafness Support Network, based in the city.

He has also helped provide equipment at Dorin Park Specialist College in Upton, Chester, as well as for the Coronation Centre in Ellesmere Port.

Mally, who lives in Wirral, added: “Whenever I go to Ellesmere Port I'm always flabbergasted by the number of people who know and support him. We're so proud of him.”