UNITED KINGDOM. London: Capitan Sir Tom Moore, the WWII veteran who raised £32m for National Health Service (NHS) to help them fight the fatal coronavirus has died after contracting COVID-19.
A statement issued by his daugthers said, “It is with great sadness that we announce the death of our dear father, Capitan Sir Tom Moore. We are so grateful that we were with him during the last hours of his life.”
The 100-year-old was taken to Bedford Hospital in Central England on Jan. 22 after he had trouble breathing. He was being treated for both COVID-19 and pneumonia simultaneously.
Raised in Yorkshire, northern England, Moore became a “national hero” after he pledged to walk 100 laps of his garden with his Zimmer frame before his 100th birthday to raise funds for the NHS.
Little did he know that his mission would become viral and he would raise more than £30m for the NHS Charities Together in a few weeks.
He then received a military flypast and the title of honorary colonel. In July last year, he was knighted by the Queen at a special socially distant ceremony at Windsor Castle.
His commitment was cemented with the creation of his own charity, The Capitan Tom Foundation. The charity launched a Walk and Talk with Capitan Tom campaign to spread hope and tackle loneliness during the second lockdown.
“The last year of our father’s life was nothing short of remarkable. He was rejuvenated and experienced things he’d only ever dreamed of,” said the family in the statement. “Whilst he’d been in so many hearts for just a short time, he was an incredible father and grandfather, and he will stay alive in our hearts forever.”
Tributes pour in for Moore
The U.K. Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, and the Queen also paid tribute to Moore, along with people and institutions from all around the world.
“Captain Sir Tom Moore was a hero in the truest sense of the word. In the dark days of the Second World War he fought for freedom and in the face of this country’s deepest post war crisis he united us all, he cheered us all up, and he embodied the triumph of the human spirit,” PM Boris tweeted.