99-Yr-Old Veteran Raises 21 Mil. GBP For British Health Service

Tom Moore, retired civil servant and veteran. Image: BBC

LONDON (Xinhua) — A 99-year-old war veteran has raised more than 21 million pounds (about 26 million U.S. dollars) for the National Health Service (NHS) by completing 100 laps of his garden.

With the aid of a walking frame, Tom Moore, a retired civil servant and Second World War veteran, had planned to do 100 laps of his garden in Bedfordshire, England, before his 100th birthday on April 30.

He finished the challenge Thursday morning. As of early Saturday, more than 1 million people have donated to his fundraising page.

Local media reported that Moore originally wanted to raise 1,000 pounds (1,247 U.S. dollars) for NHS Charities Together to thank the NHS staff who helped him treat his cancer and a broken hip.

Tom Moore(C), a retired civil servant and Second World War veteran, talks with members of the 1st Battalion, the Yorkshire Regiment, after completing his final lap at his garden in Bedfordshire, Britain, on April 16, 2020. (Photo by Frances Haycock/MOD/Handout via Xinhua)

“We could never imagine that sort of money and it’s unbelievable that people could be so kind to give that sort of money to the NHS,” he told BBC.

The veteran has received multiple messages of thanks from NHS workers, sports personalities and politicians.

His achievements were also singled out by British Health Secretary Matt Hancock, who said during the Wednesday evening press conference at Downing Street that Moore was “an inspiration to all.”

NHS Charities Together, the national membership organization for over 140 official NHS Charities in England, Scotland and Wales, said it was truly inspired and humbled.

The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Britain reached 109,769 as of 0110 GMT on Saturday, according to the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University.