If you’re around and about in London over the next couple of weeks might I suggest a little outing? The London Marathon will take rather longer to complete than it normally does.
Major Phil Packer, 36, will not reach the finish line at Buckingham Palace for another fortnight, during which he plans to drag himself around the course in one of the most painstaking challenges in the event’s history.
Last month Major Packer took his first unaided steps, although he will be unable to walk unaided during the marathon. He plans to use crutches to assist him to complete the course, but said that he will “drag myself around it if I have to”.
Major Packer, of the Royal Military Police, was rendered paraplegic in a rocket attack on the British base in Basra in February last year. Deployed as the force marshal overseeing up to 5,000 men, he was injured when a vehicle rolled over him during the chaos of the attack. He suffered bruising to his heart, broken ribs and an injury to the base of his spine.
Major Packer will attempt to complete the marathon in two weeks. He expects to be walking just under two miles a day (the maximum he has been medically advised), taking about six hours, because his progress will be so slow.
He will stay at his own home in Central London each night, as it is equipped for his disability, before returning to where he left off the previous day.
A man doing that deserves a little show of support don’t you think?
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