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Captain Sir Tom Moore dies aged 100 from Covid-19

LONDON - Charity fundraiser Captain Sir Tom Moore has died in hospital at the age of 100 after testing positive for Covid-19.

The veteran, who captured the hearts of the nation with his fundraising efforts during the first lockdown, died in Bedford Hospital on Tuesday morning.

His daughters Hannah Ingram-Moore and Lucy Teixeira hailed the last year of his life as "nothing short of remarkable", adding: "He was rejuvenated and experienced things he'd only ever dreamed of".

Sir Tom had been taken to hospital on Sunday after being treated for pneumonia for some time and testing positive for coronavirus last week.

His family praised the care he had received from the NHS and said they had been able to spend time with him in his final hours.

In a statement, Hannah and Lucy said: "We are so grateful that we were with him during the last hours of his life; Hannah, Benjie and Georgia by his bedside and Lucy on FaceTime.

"We spent hours chatting to him, reminiscing about our childhood and our wonderful mother. We shared laughter and tears together.

"The last year of our father's life was nothing short of remarkable. He was rejuvenated and experienced things he'd only ever dreamed of.

"Whilst he'd been in so many hearts for just a short time, he was an incredible father and grandfather, and he will stay alive in our hearts forever."

Buckingham Palace said the Queen and the royal family's thoughts are with Sir Tom's family and she is sending a private message of condolence.

Sir Tom's fundraising efforts raised more than £32 million for the NHS, walking 100 laps of his garden before his 100th birthday during the first national lockdown in April.

The veteran set out to raise £1,000 from his charity challenge but his efforts struck a chord with the nation, and praise and donations flooded in.

He raised a total of £32.7 million, with donations from 1.5 million supporters, before his fundraising page was closed at midnight following his 100th birthday on April 30.

He started his challenge a little over three weeks earlier, and encouraged people to continue to donate to NHS Charities Together.

In acknowledgement of his efforts, he was knighted by the Queen during a unique open-air ceremony at Windsor Castle in summer 2020.

Sir Tom rounded off 2020 with a trip to Barbados with his family, and his fundraising efforts were marked during the New Year drone display in London, as his figure appeared over the O2 Arena.

After news of his death broke, Health Secretary Matt Hancock tweeted: "I'm so sorry to hear that Captain Tom has passed away in hospital.

"He was a great British hero that showed the best of our country & I send my best wishes to his family at this time."

Singer Michael Ball, who recorded a charity single with Sir Tom that reached number one, wrote on Twitter: "Rest in peace @captaintommoore. A wonderful life so well lived and a hero and fighter to the very end.

Home Secretary Priti Patel and Mayor of London Sadiq Khan were also among those to pay tribute.

Information released on behalf of Sir Tom's family revealed he tested positive for Covid-19 on January 22 after returning home from hospital where he was diagnosed with pneumonia.

A statement said Sir Tom was tested regularly for Covid-19 between December 9 and January 12 and each test returned negative.

"He was admitted to hospital on January 12. Whilst in hospital he received a pneumonia diagnosis. In addition, as with other patients, he was tested regularly for Covid-19," the statement said.

"On January 22, Tom was discharged from hospital back to the family home where he felt most comfortable. Unfortunately he was left still fighting pneumonia and tested positive for Covid-19 that day.

"He remained at home, cared for by family and medical professionals, until he needed additional help with his breathing. He was taken by ambulance to Bedford Hospital on Sunday January 31."