Five-year-old Tony Hudgell has raised more than €1 million for the London hospital that saved his life by walking an incredible 10 km on his new prosthetic legs. Tony said he had been inspired by Captain Tom’s record-breaking challenge.
TONY had suffered near-fatal abuse from his birth parents when he was a baby that resulted in the amputation of his legs.
He set out to raise €500 by walking every day in June but now has raised over €1 million including offline donations and gift aid, the Evelina London Children’s Hospital has confirmed. Tony’s adoptive mum, Paula Hudgell, said: “I’m absolutely blown away.”
Tony’s mum said: “I’m speechless. It doesn’t feel real.”
Paula said he had received a set of new limbs in February this year, from walking barely a step a month ago, he could now power through hundreds of metres every day. The challenge had been “really fun,” Tony said, and although hard to begin with, it had got easier day by day. He said he felt “really good” to have achieved his goal of walking 10km (6.2 miles) in June with days to spare.
His mum said Tony was fighting for his life when she first met him in Evelina London Children’s Hospital when he was four months old.
“He’d had all his limbs broken, he’d had blood trauma to the face, sepsis, multi-organ failure, and they never expected him to survive,” she said at the family’s home in Kent, southeast England. “We took him home (…) he was broken, shutdown, a tiny, tiny underweight little boy.”
Consultant Michail Kokkinakis said Tony’s determination and the support of his family had helped him cope with multiple operations.
“I have seen him thriving, I have seen him becoming this very confident and bright young boy he is today,” he said. “He’s a huge inspiration to us all.”
Tony took on his challenge after seeing CaptainTom Moore, 95 years his senior, walking 100 laps of his garden using a walking frame, raising £33 million.