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Sir Captain Tom Moore, who became a national hero after raising millions of pounds for the NHS by walking laps of his garden, has died aged 100.
His family announced the news on twitter. He was being treated in hospital for COVID-19 and pneumonia.
Tom won the hearts of a nation in April last year while raising money for the NHS by pledging to complete 100 laps of his garden before his 100th birthday.
Not only did Tom successfully complete his mission two weeks before his birthday, he went on to raise an astonishing £32 million, having set an initial fundraising target of £1,000.
Tom’s fundraising came at the perfect time for NHS employees working tirelessly on the frontlines to battle the ongoing health crisis.
However, it wasn’t the pandemic that inspired Tom to raise money for the NHS, the late war veteran wanted to raise money for the health service after the ‘magnificent’ care he received while being treated for cancer and a broken hip, as well as the support they gave his late wife Pamela, who died in 2006.
Upon finishing his 100th lap on April 16, Tom received messages via BBC Breakfast from NHS staff and supporters such as cricketer Ben Stokes.
After watching the messages, Tom said:
I think it’s difficult to say [how the messages made him feel]. They are really super people speaking – it’s out of this world.
[…] I never, ever dreamt I’d be involved in such an occasion as this.
We are doing so well and, knowing the reason that we started off with was for the NHS – it’s really for all the people that are supporting and all the people finding it very difficult at the moment, and some people are finding it difficult.
I think if you’re held up in your house at the moment, it’s likely to go on a little longer. I think you’re all being very, very good and I think you’re also being brave.
Tom also added that ‘the sun will shine on you again and the clouds will go away’.
Following Tom’s efforts, an online petition to get the veteran a knighthood amassed more than 900,000 signatures, with Sir Captain Tom eventually travelling to Windsor Castle to receive the honour in person from the Queen.
Not content with his record-breaking fund-raising effort, Tom also went on to become the oldest ever person to have a Number One single in the UK, for his performance on Michael Ball’s charity rendition of You’ll Never Walk Alone.
Along with his family, he has continued to raise money for the NHS through his charity, the Captain Tom Foundation.
Tom was diagnosed with COVID-19 after having been admitted to hospital in January with pneumonia. He was prevented from receiving the vaccine due to medication he was taking to treat pneumonia. In an update posted earlier on Tuesday, February 2, the hospital where he was being treated said that he was surrounded by his family.
Rest in peace, Tom – we hope the sun’s shining on you wherever you are.
If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677.
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