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Phil Packer MBE becomes RNOH Appeal Ambassador

Phil Packer MBE becomes RNOH Appeal Ambassador

Posted by Sam Bowie on 30 January 2013

We are delighted to announce that the Pride of Britain and BBC Sports Personality of the Year Helen Rollason Award winner, Phil Packer MBE, has become an official Ambassador for the RNOH Charity’s Redevelopment Appeal.

Phil suffered catastrophic spinal cord injuries in 2008 whilst serving on operational duty with Her Majesty’s Forces. His surgery and rehabilitation took place at the RNOH over a period of five months.

Phil said: “The treatment I received at the RNOH was exceptional.  Following the initial prognosis at another hospital that I would not walk again, I am indebted to the surgical team and staff at the London Spinal Cord Injury Centre, who, from their treatment and care, have given me the ability to walk and function again.

“The professionalism of the unit’s staff and the quality of my care were outstanding; the specialised equipment and facilities were integral to my rehabilitation and comfort. I am indebted to my consultant, Dr Angela Gall, and her team for supporting me every step of the way. Through their unswerving dedication they have given me the opportunity to live my life to the full.”

Phil continued:  "I am honoured to be an Ambassador for the RNOH Charity’s Redevelopment Appeal. I have first-hand knowledge and experience of what remarkable support they provide, and with the support of donors and supporters the RNOH will have the ability to save and change the lives of countless patients. This is a vital cause that needs our support so they can continue to deliver life-changing medical assistance and care.”

Since his injury, Phil has dedicated his life to supporting charities, in particular those which help young people facing trauma in their lives. Only a year after sustaining his injuries, Phil raised over £1.3 million within a six month period for the wounded by completing three remarkable physical challenges: rowing the English Channel, walking the London Marathon over 14 days, and climbing El Capitan over 4 days (4250 pull-ups).

In 2012 he completed his toughest challenge - walking 2012 miles throughout every county of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Dr Angela Gall, a consultant at the LSCIC, said:

“As for his 2012 mile walk, this needs to be put into context with his spinal cord injury. Walking 2012 miles throughout 2012 was an enormous challenge. The literature (physiological cost index) estimates the energy Phil uses when walking is 3 to 4 times that of someone without a spinal cord injury. This means that walking for Phil is very effortful, he uses a lot of energy and puts additional stress on his musculoskeletal system. 8 to 10 miles a day is a fantastic achievement and required a great deal of effort and determination. Phil was walking an equivalent of a marathon distance effort a day”.

Phil walked the equivalent of 310 marathon distances in 331 days. In doing so, he raised awareness of The British Inspiration Trust (BRIT), met thousands of young people, many of whom had endured trauma and adversity, and throughout all his inspiring challenges, has continued to champion mental health and deliver positive messaging around disability.