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99-year-old raises £12m for NHS and funds pour in for family of pregnant nurse who died

Captain Tom Moore, who will turn 100 later this month, is walking laps of his garden to raise money for healthcare workers.

Captain Tom Moore
Captain Tom Moore
Image: PA Images

A 99-YEAR-OLD British veteran who is walking 100 lengths of his garden to raise money for the NHS has been hailed as an “inspiration” as donations topped £12 million (about €13.7 million).

Captain Tom Moore, who lives with his family in Bedfordshire in England, is due to complete the last of the 25-metre laps today.

His achievements – which started at a modest target of £1,000 (€1,150) last week, ahead of his 100th birthday on 30 April – were singled out by Health Secretary Matt Hancock during yesterday evening’s press conference at Downing Street.

In his opening address, Hancock said: “I want to pay a special tribute today to Captain Tom Moore.

“Captain Tom, you’re an inspiration to us all, and we thank you.”

The military veteran thanked on Twitter all of the “wonderful” people who donated. 

Earlier, he told BBC One: “At no time when we started off with this exercise did we anticipate we’d get anything near that sort of money.

“It just shows that people have such high regard for matters of our National Health Service and it’s really amazing that people have paid so much money.”

Moore began raising funds to thank NHS staff who treated him for a broken hip.

His daughter, Hannah Ingram-Moore, told the BBC that the amount raised was “beyond our wildest expectations” (about £5 million or €5.7 million had been rasied at this stage).

When the JustGiving page went live last week, they thought their £1,000 target was a “real stretch”, she said.

“No words can express our gratitude to the British public for getting behind Tom, for making this into a heartfelt story,” she added.

2.53427400 File photo Source: PA Images

“He’s a stoic Yorkshireman, he’s an unruffled straight-down-the-line kind of person and has embraced this adventure as the next stage of his life.

“I believe that life is all about purpose, we all need purpose, and, whilst he’s had a life full of purpose, he did fall and break his hip and became much less independent than he had been for the preceding 98 years, and what you have done, the British public, and everyone who’s supported him, is giving him his next purpose.

“He is articulate, he’s alive, he’s doing this and I think he’ll do this until everyone says, ‘Stop, don’t do it anymore’.”

Originally from Keighley in West Yorkshire, Moore trained as a civil engineer before enlisting in the Army for the Second World War, rising to captain and serving in India and Burma.

Pregnant nurse

Meanwhile, over £65,000 (about €75,000) has been raised for the family and newborn baby of a pregnant NHS nurse who died from Covid-19.

Mary Agyeiwaa Agyapong (28), who worked as a nurse on a general ward at Luton and Dunstable University Hospital for five years, died on Sunday.

Her baby daughter was delivered successfully by caesarean section and is doing well, according to the hospital, although it is not clear whether she has also tested positive for the disease.

Agyapong’s husband is currently self-isolating and has also been tested for Covid-19.

The Bedfordshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said that Ms Agyapong tested positive on 5 April and was admitted to the hospital she worked at on 7 April.

David Carter, chief executive of the trust, said: “It is with great sadness that I can confirm the death of one of our nurses, Mary Agyeiwaa Agyapong, who passed away on Sunday.

“Mary worked here for five years and was a highly valued and loved member of our team, a fantastic nurse and a great example of what we stand for in this trust.

“She tested positive for Covid-19 after being tested on April 5 and was admitted to the hospital on April 7.”

A GoFundMe page set up yesterday morning had raised £65,400 by this morning.

“Mary was a blessing to everyone she came across and her love, care and sincerity will be irreplaceable,” organiser Rhoda Asiedu wrote on the page.

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