LONDON (Reuters) – A 99-year-old war veteran has raised more than 2 million pounds ($2.5 million) for British health workers by attempting to walk the length of his garden one hundred times before his 100th birthday later this month.
Retired captain Tom Moore, who has used a walker to move around since breaking his hip, said he was grateful to the National Health Service (NHS) for the treatment he received in the past and wanted to do something in return.
Britain’s state-funded NHS is under severe strain as it treats large numbers of people suffering from COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus.
The death toll from COVID-19 in British hospitals reached 11,329 on Monday, the fifth highest globally.
Medics have been widely praised for their bravery and professionalism during the crisis, including by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who recovered from the virus after being treated by the NHS in a London hospital.
“The more it (money) comes in the better, because when I was in hospital with my hip and then with my head, the service I got … was absolutely unbelievable,” Moore said, as the tally from his fundraising campaign kept rising. (https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/tomswalkforthenhs)
“At all times they were so good, so cheerful, so friendly.”
Pointing to the campaign medals pinned to his jacket, he added: “Fortune favours the brave, and that’s what they are, they’re brave.”
The veteran, who served in Asia during World War Two, had a message of hope for his compatriots.
“That’s the way I think I’ve always looked at things: tomorrow will be a good day,” he said.
Moore, who turns 100 on April 30, had hoped to raise 500,000 pounds, but has more than quadrupled that, and he intends to carry on.
“I shall continue up and down here after my birthday. I’ll keep on going whilst people are still contributing to the National Health Service.”
(Reporting and writing by Mike Collett-White; Editing by Janet Lawrence)