West Michigan Man Needs Double Lung Transplant

Posted at 7:07 PM, Sep 05, 2013
and last updated 2013-09-05 19:07:36-04

HAMILTON, Mich.,– A West Michigan man fighting for his life and getting a renewed sense of hope as he works to get on the lung transplant list at Spectrum Butterworth Hospital.

Bill Fitts was diagnosed with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) eight years ago. His five children and 13 grandchildren mean everything to him and he worries he’ll lose out on time with them as his health continues to decline.

“My dad is the type of person that no matter what he has going on you always come first. He has always been that way, he’s the glue that holds our family together,” said his daughter Amber Childs.

Just a few months ago during his last visit to the hospital they feared the worst, his family says it could have very well been his last.

But recently they got in touch with a specialist team at Spectrum Hospital’s Heart and Lung Transplant program in Grand Rapids. His family says he’s close to getting on the list for a double lung transplant but just needs to gain 5 more pounds.

“Now that a transplant is an option and he’s so close to getting there he’s got hope and we’ve got hope,” said his daughter Lisa Sturgis. “Just in the last couple months we have come so far and I mean just his mentality is completely different.”

Spectrum is just one out of three hospitals in the state that can do lung transplants. The first one was performed in February and since they have had nine successful surgeries to date.

It’s a shot at life, Bill and his families aren’t giving on. “With our family and friends and all of the support we have had so far it makes it a lot easier and seeing the hope in him it makes everything worth it.”

If you would like to help Bill and his family with medical bills and other expenses. You can visit and enter Bill Fitts in the “Find A Patient” Box.

His family will also be holding a Pig Roast and Raffle on Saturday September 21st from 4;00-8:00p.m. at Hamilton Christian Reformed Church.