A 5-year-old boy British boy with two prosthetic legs raised over GBP1 million (or $1.24 million) for the hospital that saved his life by walking 6 miles in the month of June, Reuters reported.
Tony Hudgell had both of his legs amputated and was on life support at Evelina London Children’s Hospital after being abused by his biological parents as a newborn. The doctors weren’t certain he would live, much less ever be able to walk.
But Tony did survive, and after receiving a set of new limbs in February, he has been making incredible walking progress.
His adoptive mother, Paula Hudgell, told Reuters that he has gone from barely being able to take a single step at the beginning of June to now walking hundreds of yards a day.
Tony reportedly was inspired to begin his walk for charity after he saw 100-year-old British war hero Captain Tom Moore raise tens of millions for health care workers by walking 100 laps outside his home north of London.
“I can do that,” Tony’s mother recalls him saying.
Tony’s initial target was GBP500, a goal that was surpassed quickly. The exuberant 5-year-old added that it felt “really good” to have completed his mission of walking 10 kilometers, or 6.2 miles, with a few days to spare in June.
“It is incredible to think just three and half weeks ago he could barely take a few steps,” his mother said, amazed at Tony’s progress and shocked at how successful the fundraiser had become.
She first met him at the London children’s hospital five years before, when he was fighting for his life as a result of several critical injuries.
“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,” Hudgell said. “We took him home … he was broken, shutdown, a tiny, tiny underweight little boy.”
Hudgell and her husband then adopted Tony in 2016, recalling, “We didn’t want him to go anywhere else, he was our little boy by then.”
Fast-forward several years later, and Tony is now speed-walking with his new legs and inspiring a nation.
As for long-term plans, Tony told reporters that he wants to eventually become a policeman.
“I want to handcuff bad people and robbers,” he said.
Watch the final steps of his challenge:
Tony Hudgell’s 10k walk Live : Just Giving Lockdown Legends