You might have heard of Major Phil Packer… the man who was paralysed in February last year when the vehicle he was in was hit by a rocket in Iraq. He suffered broken ribs and a crushed lower spine. He was the man who was told he would never walk again and yet he finished the London marathon, albeit painfully slowly, but remember – 18 months before the doctors said he would never get out of a wheelchair.
We like talking about extreme personalities and this is one man who is definitely worth a mention or two. Thanks to AffiliAid for this introductory video:
Phil Packer says: “From the original prognosis that I would never walk again, I have been very lucky and my injuries have improved. I set out to raise £1million by completing a number of challenges including 3 Main Events; Rowing the Channel, walking the London Marathon, and pulling myself up a Mountain. El Capitan is the last event before I concentrate on providing opportunities for people with disabilities and raising the profile of disability sports. I will travel to the USA during the first two weeks in June and with the expertise & support of Andy Kirkpatrick, Ian Parnell and Paul Tatersal, will pull myself up 1800ft in 3 days”.
A quick excerpt of Maj. Phil Packer completing the London Marathon (6MadeInEngland9):
and how he has successfully got others involved in his charity efforts (AffiliAid)
Packer started his 1,800 ft climb up the sheer rock face of El Capitan in Yosemite National Park yesterday, 8th June.
His ascent of El Cap. is being attempted despite the fact that he was told he would never walk again.
Major Packer, who lives in Westminster, London, has said the three-day climb will be his final fundraising campaign before concentrating his efforts on promoting opportunities for disabled people.
Climbing a rock face would be a challenge most of us would balk at but with a characteristic display of courage over disability, Major Packer is determined to conquer the face that many able-bodied people have failed to do.
Pulling yourself up with your arms (the equivalent of doing more than 4,000 push-ups) is a painfully slow way to scale a rock face and though he’s in constant pain since the rocket attack last year, it’s not enough to discourage him from taking up this challenge.
He wants to prove that his disability is no bar to rock climbing even though he’s no fan of its dizzying heights.
Unseasonable rain over the Yosemite Valley won’t make his task any easier though experience suggests this trifling inconvenience won’t interrupt his attempt.
He and his team are climbing to support ‘Help for Heroes’ and to raise awareness of Disabled Climbing Opportunites.
Packer’s live update of his climb states: “Great day, currently at 250 meters. Very tough, arms are tired, but every pull up is one pull up nearer the top. Passed Pitch 6 out of 16. Sleeping on a portaledge tonight.”
Having attempted and completed a marathon, kayaked, sky-dived with the Red Devils and accepted El Cap’s challenge, Major Phil Packer is, in our opinion, the perfect candidate as one of our extreme sports personalities.
To find out more about him, or if you would like to contribute to his fund-raising efforts, please go to: www.philpacker.com
His is a noble cause and I will keep you posted on the climb…