Tony Hudgell is a little boy who’s already achieved a big goal. The 5-year-old from West Malling in southeast England has raised more than $1.6 million for the hospital that helped save his life. His achievement: walking nearly 8 miles on his new prosthetic legs.
Hudgell—whose legs were amputated when he was just a newborn because of injuries from his birth parents’ abuse—only recently learned to walk with crutches.
He was inspired by “Captain Tom” Moore, the centenarian veteran who raised more than $40 million for Britain’s National Health Service by doing 100 laps around his garden with his walker. Tony decided he wanted to give back to Evelina London Children’s Hospital, described as a “second home” on his fundraising page; it continues to accept donations.
“Tony kept saying, ‘I can do that, I can walk,’ ” his adoptive mother Paula Hudgell told ABC News. “ ‘He’s got something just like me, I can walk like that.’ ”
Tony’s exploits earned him some high-profile fans, including Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who met with Tony and gave him a Points of Light award. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge showed Tony their support on Twitter, as did soccer star Cesar Azpilicueta, who plays for the tyke’s favorite team, Chelsea. The club sent him a signed jersey and an offer to tour its training grounds.
“He has made everyone at Evelina London so proud,” Caroline Gormley, the hospital’s associate director of fundraising, said in a statement.