HUNDREDS of people are sending positive thoughts and prayers to a much-loved fundraiser as he continues to fight for his life in hospital.

Billy Birch, 76, remains in intensive care at the Countess of Chester Hospital after he suffered multiple organ failure during a 10-hour operation.

His son Mally told the Standard yesterday that his dad had been placed in an induced coma following a series of complications during surgery.

Billy, from Ellesmere Port, had been admitted on Wednesday last week after suffering with stomach pains.

Mally asked this newspaper to update people on Billy's condition and since our story was published yesterday it has been shared hundreds of times by concerned well-wishers.

One woman summed up the sentiments of many when the wrote on Facebook: “There will never be such a kind and wonderful man as Billy. God bless Billy, get well soon.”

And another added: “Praying for you Billy! Please pull through - you are a true pride of the port man!”

Mally said today that he hopes his dad sees all of the messages of support when he regains consciousness.

“If he could just come around and see what everyone has been saying he would love it,” he said.

“That's what dad's all about; the community and bringing people together. We just need to see a little sign that he's on the mend.”

Doctors continue to monitor Billy's progress in the hope that his organs begin to function normally again.

“He's still on life support,” added Mally. “We're keeping everything crossed for him.”

Billy, from Ellesmere Port, has been raising money for worthy causes 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, among other causes.

Billy has won a number of gongs including a ‘Community Thank You’ award at Cheshire Constabulary's Achieving Excellence awards ceremony in 2015.