• Man with cancer gets help after facing fines for keeping koi fish in yard


    SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. - WFTV reporter Tim Barber has an update on a local story that tugged at so many heart strings across central Florida and beyond.

    In October, Ted Smith was battling cancer and expensive fines for keeping hundreds of his koi fish in an above ground pool in Seminole County.

    Since then, viewers rallied around Smith to save his fish and get rid of the fines.

    When Barber first reported the story, Smith was battling cancer and code enforcement.

    The board was threatening to fine him $100 a day for his messy yard and the above ground pool, which was home to his 300 koi fish.

    "I am not going to be around to enjoy them much longer, you know, a couple years maybe. I don't know," said Smith.

    Following Barber's story, people from across the U.S. wrote WFTV offering to help.

    Smith's wife, Barbara, said, "I didn't even know what we were going to do until you showed up."

    Ted Smith was too sick to talk on Friday, but his wife said fish lovers came from as far as Georgia.

    Smith was able to get roughly $50 a fish to help pay for his chemotherapy.

    "It just warms my heart. It really it does," said neighbor Judy Dearolf.

    The county said Smith's case is closed.

    Barbara Smith said someone is working to clean up the rest of the yard so she and her husband can focus on fighting his lung cancer.

    They are optimistic, but Ted Smith said he misses his fish.

    "He says, 'You know it's big enough we could put one or two more fish in there.' I said, 'No we can't dear,'" she said.

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    Man with cancer gets help after facing fines for keeping koi fish in yard