A FORMER Scotland rugby captain who now uses a wheelchair has raised an astonishing £61,000 for the NHS by walking in his garden.
Mike Biggar, from Malmesbury, is aiming to walk 500 steps in a month.
He is taking on the challenge after he was struck by the amazing efforts of Captain Tom Moore, the 100-year-old war veteran who raised more than £30 million for the NHS by walking 100 laps of his garden.
Mike, a former Scottish international, was nearly killed in 1992 when a car crash left him with severe brain damage, changing his life forever.
He was left in a coma with extreme head injuries and a slim hope of regaining consciousness.
After five weeks on life support, he woke from his coma and began the painstaking process of learning to talk and walk again.
Mike spent a year in hospital with a hugely dedicated team of NHS doctors, nurses and therapists by his side assisting in his recovery.
He slowly re-learnt to walk and talk but subsequent falls causing further head trauma, twinned with arthritis from his rugby days, led to further physical and mental deterioration, leaving him wheelchair-bound for the past 10 years.
Last month, Mike was rushed to Cheltenham General Hospital A&E with a serious kidney infection, which left him very weak with huge muscle loss.
Having been inspired by Captain Tom, Mike is attempting to walk 500 steps in 30 days with the help of handrails to show his appreciation for the NHS.
“Captain Tom is absolutely humbling. To see what other people can do.., don’t be a spectator – go and do it,” Mr Biggar told the BBC.
“It will be rather hard for you all to keep up with me,” he joked.
Mike initially set the target to walk 100 steps but after hitting that target inside seven days, he has now set his sights on 500 steps.
His wife Ali said: “He’s never lost his sense of humour… but it’s very, very hard to watch him struggling with every step.”
“Walking just three or four steps a day is a huge effort for him, so we’re so proud of him in trying to accomplish this.”
Mike is now halfway through the challenge and is on track to complete 500 steps inside 30 days. He has raised more than £61,000 through the fundraiser, smashing his target of £1,000.
To donate, go to justgiving.com/fundraising/mike-biggar