Pride of Britain and BBC Sports Personality of the Year Helen Rollason Award winner Phil Packer MBE has been announced as official ambassador for the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital’s Redevelopment Appeal.
The Appeal aims to raise £15 million for state of the art equipment and new facilities, such as a new family accommodation unit (Princess Eugenie House), enhanced imaging equipment and a modern and welcoming children’s unit. Phil Packer’s support comes at a critical time for the Trust, which submitted an application to Harrow Borough Council earlier this month for a major overhaul of the site. If approved, this will see the site transformed to meet the needs of patients in the 21st century.
Packer, who walked the London Marathon in 14 days after suffering severe spinal injuries in Iraq in 2008, said he felt ‘great pride’ about his new role.
Also commenting, “I know first-hand the importance of the vital support and care that the hospital provides. I do hope that the local community will back this much-needed redevelopment and urge fellow patients as well as their families, friends and all those whose lives have been touched by the RNOH, to do all they can to support the Appeal.”
He continues, “My surgery and rehabilitation took place over five months at the RNOH. The professionalism of the staff and the quality of care were integral to my rehabilitation and comfort. I am indebted to my surgeon, medical team and my consultant, Dr Angela Gall, 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. It’s an honour for me to support this vital cause.”
Despite being told after his injury that he might never walk again, Phil has completed amazing physical challenges to raise money – over £1.5 million – for charitable causes, including rowing the English Channel, walking the London Marathon over 14 days, and climbing El Capitan over 4 days (4250 pull-ups). Last year he completed his toughest challenge; walking 2012 miles (the equivalent of 310 marathon distances in 331 days) throughout every county of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to raise awareness of his charity, The British Inspiration Trust (BRIT), and meeting young people, many of who have endured trauma and adversity.
Rosie Stolarski, the RNOH Charity’s Head of Fundraising, commented: “We are delighted that Phil has pledged his support to our campaign. He is a true inspiration to us all, so we are thrilled that he shares our vision for the hospital redevelopment, which will help to dramatically improve the facilities available to patients and visitors.”
RNOH is the largest specialist orthopaedic hospital in the UK and is regarded as a leader in the field of orthopaedics. The Trust provides a comprehensive and unique range of neuro-musculoskeletal healthcare, ranging from acute spinal injuries to orthopaedic medicine and specialist rehabilitation for chronic back pain sufferers.