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£1 million challenge for paralysed soldier

PUBLISHED: 11:15 02 March 2009 | UPDATED: 11:22 12 August 2010

A PARALYSED army officer is set to raise £1 million for wounded soldiers by undertaking extreme challenges. Major Philip Packer, 36, from

A PARALYSED army officer is set to raise £1 million for wounded soldiers by undertaking extreme challenges.

Major Philip Packer, 36, from Petts Wood, hopes to become the first paraplegic person to row across the Channel to raise money for Help The Heroes, last weekend.

The former Eltham College student, who completed the challenge in 15 hours, lost the use of his legs last February when he was hit by a vehicle during a missile attack in Basra, Iraq.

The serving Royal Military Police officer has sworn to complete any challenge thrown at him until he has raised £1 million through sponsorship.

He said: "I'm trying to get more opportunities available for injured servicemen.

"If someone offers me a challenge I will go for it and hopefully show they could be available for other wounded soldiers."

After his injury, doctors told the former Chislehurst Golf Club member, rugby player and Kent Schools High Jump Champion was he would never walk again.

But the Red Cap defied their predictions and plans to complete the London Marathon in April, expecting his trek to take two to three weeks on crutches.

Future challenges include climbing El Capitan, a sheer-faced 3,000ft mount in Yosemite National Park, California, over four days.

He said: "I'm still a serving commissioned officer, and at Sandhurst you are told you lead by example.

"I want to get out there and show I'm still very capable even though I'm disabled.

"You have to remain positive and believe in people around you like friends, family and colleagues, and mine have been tremendous."

Since October Major Packer has raised £150,000 for Help The Heroes through challenges including skydiving and yachting.

The charity has also been supported by the family of Maidstone-based Royal Engineer, Lance Corporal Jake Alderton, 22, from Eltham, who was killed in Afghanistan in 2007.

To help Major Packer raise funds, visit www.justgiving.com/philsmillion or send a cheque to Phil Packer, 4a Vincent House, Vincent Square, London, SW1P 2NB.

jules.cooper@archant.co.uk

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