Captain Tom Moore, 100-year-old veteran who raised millions for coronavirus relief, has COVID-19

The 100-year-old British army veteran who raised nearly $45 million for his country’s National Health Service has tested positive for COVID-19, his family announced.

Captain Sir Tom Moore was being treated for pneumonia for several weeks before he contracted COVID-19, his daughter Hannah Ingram-Moore said in a statement on Twitter on Sunday. Moore was admitted to the hospital after having trouble breathing but is not in intensive care, his daughter said.

“We know that the wonderful staff at Bedford Hospital will do all they can to make him comfortable and hopefully return home as soon as possible,” Ingram-Moore said.

World War II veteran Moore became an international symbol of hope in April when he pledged to walk 100 laps around his back garden before his 100th birthday to raise money for the “heroes” at the NHS.

A British army vet has raised millions by walking 100 laps around his garden before his 100th birthday.

His initial target was about $1,250 for NHS Charities Together, which helps charities raise money for United Kingdom hospitals and supports NHS staff and volunteers caring for COVID-19 patients. He aimed to walk 10 laps each day with the help of a walking frame.

Within about 24 hours he reached his initial goal, according to a post on his fundraising page April 10. A few days later, Moore had raised more than $1.25 million.

Moore was born in Keighley, Yorkshire, where he trained as a civil engineer before enlisting in the army at the beginning of World War II. He later served in India and Indonesia.

Captain Tom celebrates 100th birthday:Army vet who raised millions walking around a garden celebrates his birthday in style

He told the BBC that he began raising the funds to thank the NHS staff who helped him with treatment for cancer and a broken hip.

“When you think of who it is all for – all those brave and super doctors and nurses we have got,” he told the outlet. “I think they deserve every penny, and I hope we get some more for them, too.”

Tom Moore, 100, served in India and Indonesia during World War II. (Maytrix Group)

The money has been used to support staff, volunteers and patients with comfortable places for breaks, food and drink and provides electronic tablets so people can stay in contact with loved ones, according to Beth Gaudin, a spokesperson for NHS Charities Together. The funding will also go toward services such as hospices, community health care, social care, counseling support and post-hospital needs, Gaudin said.

Ellie Orton, the chief executive of NHS Charities Together, called Moore “a true inspiration” in a statement to USA TODAY.

Moore has since been knighted by Queen Elizabeth II, appointed as the first Honorary Colonel of the Army Foundation College Harrogate, made an Honorary Member of the England cricket team and given a custom WWE title.

Well wishes for the beloved centenarian are pouring in from across the United Kingdom.

“My thoughts are very much with @CaptainTomMoore and his family,” Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted. “You’ve inspired the whole nation, and I know we are all wishing you a full recovery.”

The Twitter account for England’s national football teams said: “We’re very sorry to hear this. We are thinking of you all and hoping Captain Sir Tom makes a full and speedy recovery.”

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan thanked the NHS for caring for Moore on Twitter.

“Hoping for a speedy recovery and to see Captain Tom back home with his family soon,” Khan said.

Follow N’dea Yancey-Bragg on Twitter: @NdeaYanceyBragg

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