UK war veteran Captain Sir Tom Moore is in hospital battling COVID-19 and pneumonia, his family said today.
Captain Tom, who was awarded a knighthood by the Queen for raising millions for the UK’s National Health Service, was admitted to hospital in Bedford, England after struggling with his breathing.
His daughter Hannah said he has been battling pneumonia for the last few weeks and last week tested positive for COVID.
She said that he is currently not in intensive care as she thanked medical staff for doing “all they can” to make him comfortable, The Sun reports.
A spokeswoman for the family confirmed that Captain Tom had not received his COVID vaccine due to his pneumonia medication.
A spokeswoman for his family said: “Because of the medication he was taking for his pneumonia he couldn’t have the COVID jab.
“Everyone is sending positive thoughts his way.”
Captain Tom Moore won the hearts of the nation with his bid to raise money for NHS staff before his 100th birthday on April 30.
The hero set out to reach £1000 ($ A1800) when he started the appeal and has since picked up many awards as well as receiving his knighthood from the Queen.
During the first UK lockdown from March 23, his aim was to walk 100 laps of the 25m loop in his garden with the aid of a walking frame in Marston Moretaine, in 10-lap chunks.
He went on to raise £32,796,355 ($ A59 million) for NHS charities.
The statement from the war hero’s daughter Hannah reads: “I wanted to update everybody that today my father was admitted to hospital.
“Over the last few weeks he was being treated for pneumonia and last week tested positive for COVID-19.”
“He was at home with us until today when he needed additional help with his breathing.
“He is being treated on a ward, although he is not in ICU. The medical care he has received in the last few weeks has been remarkable and 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.
“We understand that everyone will be wishing him well. We are of course focusing on my father and will update you when we can.”
He has not been seen in public since returning from a bucket-list holiday to Barbados with his family after Christmas.
Well-wishes for the national hero poured in after his family revealed his illness.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “My thoughts are very much with Captain Tom Moore and his family.
“You’ve inspired the whole nation and I know we are all wishing you a full recovery.”
British Health Secretary Matt Hancock said he was sending his “best wishes” to Sir Tom’s family.
Vaccine Minister Nadhim Zahawi tweeted that he was “praying” for Captain Sir Tom Moore.
UK Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer also sent a get well soon message, and tweeted: “You’ve been an inspiration to us all throughout this crisis.”
TV presenter Piers Morgan shared a photo of Captain Tom in his garden with a Union Jack flag wrapped around him.
He added alongside the snap: “Come on, Captain Sir Tom – we’re all rooting for you.”
Michael Ball, who recorded a charity single with Captain Sir Tom Moore that reached number one, tweeted: “Love and prayers for @captaintommoore and his lovely family as he battles this b**tard of a virus.
“Stay strong Sir. We are all here for you.”
Last July, the Queen knighted the war hero which was her first face-to-face engagement since lockdown began in March 2020.
Before the ceremony he joked: “If I kneel down, I’ll never get up again, but I’m sure it’ll go well, as she’s done it before.”
Her Majesty performed the special ceremony at Windsor Castle for the fundraising legend as a special exception.
She told him: “Thank you so much. An amazing amount of money you raised.”
Raising money for the NHS is the second time Captain Tom proved himself to be a national hero.
During World War II, Tom enlisted in 145 Regiment Royal Armoured Corps and was chosen for officer training in 1940, rising to the rank of captain.
He was posted to India and went on to serve his country in Burma, now called Myanmar.
This article originally appeared on The Sun and has been republished with permission