A FUNDRAISING soldier has needed a visit to the Borders General Hospital (BGH) during a 700-mile barefoot walking challenge.

Chris Brannigan is trekking across Britain to raise money for his daughter’s medical treatment.

Having begun in Land’s End, Cornwall, he set off from Lauder this morning (August 12) for his final stretch en route to Edinburgh.

But in a Facebook post last night, Mr Brannigan revealed he was in the accident and emergency department at the BGH near Melrose.

At 7.29pm on August 11, the army major wrote: “Back in A&E in the Borders Hospital as I’ve injured my back.

“I can’t believe this is happening just before my final day... I’m so annoyed with myself that this is happening.”

But in a nod to his daughter, Mr Brannigan added: “I need to finish this thing for Hasti.”

Hasti, aged eight, has a rare genetic disorder called Cornelia de Lange syndrome.

Mr Brannigan’s fundraising aims to cover the expenses of a "groundbreaking gene therapy treatment for children suffering from this terrible disease".

The treatment will cost £400,000, according to Mr Brannigan.

Although his original fundraising target was £300,000, he has so far received £311,692 in donations, meaning the Hope for Hasti charity has raised a total of £541,114.

Alongside his fundraising, Mr Brannigan has also started a petition asking the UK Government to provide more support for children and young people with rare diseases.

To follow Mr Brannigan's final miles, visit his 'Hope For Hasti' Facebook page and to donate to his fundraiser, visit: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/barefootacrossbritain

To contribute to the 'Improve care, support and treatment for children with rare diseases' petition, visit: petition.parliament.uk/petitions/330174