Page last updated at 05:03 GMT, Thursday, 28 May 2009 06:03 UK

Injured major reaches 1m target

Major Phil Packer reaching the halfway mark
Maj Phil Packer completed the London Marathon

An Army officer who was told he would never walk again after being wounded has announced he has reached his £1m charity fundraising target.

Major Phil Packer, 36, was seriously injured in a rocket attack in Iraq in February last year.

But despite losing the use of his legs, he has completed a series of challenges, including walking the London Marathon.

He raised the money for the Forces' charity Help for Heroes.

Maj Packer, who lives in Westminster, London, now has one final fundraising mountain to climb before he concentrates his efforts on promoting opportunities for disabled people.

On 9 June, he will start a three-day attempt to pull himself 1,800ft up the sheer rock face of El Capitan in Yosemite National Park in the US - the equivalent of 4,254 pull-ups.

Maj Packer, of the Royal Military Police, rowed across the Channel in February, almost a year to the day after he was wounded in Basra, southern Iraq.

Doing these things pushes you forward. I got through because I didn't want to let anyone down
Major Phil Packer

This month he crossed the finishing line of the London Marathon a fortnight after it began, having walked two miles a day on crutches.

Help for Heroes was set up in October 2007 to galvanise public support for British troops injured in the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The initial aim was to raise enough money to build a gym and full-size swimming pool at the military's main rehabilitation centre, Headley Court in Surrey.

But the huge response to the appeal - which raised £17m in its first 17 months - means the charity is now able to fund a series of other projects.

Maj Packer said: "Everyone has dark days. For me, I've had to move on.

"I lost control of my life overnight. It's very difficult when people want to do things for you or there are certain things you can't do.

"Doing these things pushes you forward. I got through because I didn't want to let anyone down.

"Sometimes it is about facing up to fears, seeing what you can do and pushing yourself to new limits."



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