Prince William and Kate have told a five-year-old boy, who is a double amputee, they are “so proud” of his fundraising efforts as he walks 10km to raise money for the children’s hospital which saved his life.
Tony Hudgell was admitted to hospital at just 41 days old, having suffered blunt force trauma to his face, and with multiple fractures of all his limbs, as well as dislocated joints.
As he had been left so long without treatment he developed toxic shock and sepsis and had to have his legs amputated, according to his JustGiving page.
But the little boy was given new prosthetic legs earlier this year and was determined to put them to the test by walking 10km (six miles) in June.
He is raising money for the Evelina’s Children’s hospital, of which the Duchess of Cambridge is a patron.
Writing on their Instagram and Twitter pages, William and Kate said: “We are so proud of the incredible courage and determination shown by Tony Hudgell, who is aiming to complete a 10km walk to raise funds for Evelina London Children’s Hospital, of which The Duchess of Cambridge is Patron.
“Tony suffered injuries as a baby which meant that he had to have both of his legs amputated in 2017.
“Having received his first pair of prosthetic legs earlier this year, Tony vowed to walk 10km throughout June.”
They said he was inspired by Captain Tom Moore, who the duke called a “legend” back when he took on a challenge to walk 100 laps of his garden before he turned 100.
Tony was adopted by Paula and Mark Hudgell, who have set about adapting their home to ensure he gets the best care for his ongoing disabilities.
Tony’s left hip socket missing, is deaf in his right ear and has motor problems with both thumbs and his left wrist.
His mum Paula told the BBC: “He is over the moon… and his walking has improved immeasurably during the challenge.”
Tony’s case became basis for a new bill, brought by Tom Tugendhat last February, which would see child abusers jailed for life.
Tony’s birth parents could only be handed a maximum sentence of 10 years despite the catalogue of injuries they left him with.
Tugendhat told Parliament: “Shortly after Tony Hudgell was born he was attacked by his biological parents, who broke his fingers and his toes, they tore the ligaments in his legs.
“They caused such terrible damage that both his legs had to be amputated and Tony is now wheelchair-bound.
“Tony was only admitted to hospital 10 days after these injuries were inflicted and we can only imagine how much pain he suffered in the first weeks of his life.
“Tony’s case is extreme but sadly it is not unique.”
He added: “It is a wrong we all know cries out for justice.”
Tony’s fundraising efforts for the hospital stood at £800,000 on Monday. A personal page to help him get the support he needs at home has raised more than £105,000.