A five-year-old double amputee has raised more than £1 million for the NHS hospital that saved his life.
Tony Hudgell raised the funds by completing a heroic 10km walking challenge with two prosthetic legs, in just 30 days.
What was the fundraiser for?
Tony originally set out to raise £500 for Evelina London Children’s Hospital in one month, but has far surpassed his goal with a total of £1,073,121 raised so far.
He set about the fundraiser to help support the hospital that saved his life, having taken inspiration from his hero, Captain Tom Moore, who walked 100 laps of his garden to raise funds for the NHS.
Captain Tom recently congratulated Tony via a video message on completing his 10km challenge.
Tony had to have both legs amputated in 2017 as a result of abuse suffered at the hands of his birth parents, and had to relearn how to walk on his new prosthetic legs.
The five-year-old hugged his adoptive parents Paula and Mark Hudgell as he crossed the finish line on Tuesday (30 June) afternoon, in his home town of West Malling in Kent.
His parents were joined by friends, family, hospital staff, and crowds of supporters who gathered to celebrate Tony’s achievement.
Speaking of his achievement, Ms Hudgell, 52, said: “It is incredible to think that just a few weeks ago Tony could barely take a few steps. He is such a strong and determined boy and we are so proud.
"We'd like to thank everyone who has been so generous in supporting Tony's fundraising and we couldn't be happier that the money is going to a place that is so special to our family.
"I still can't get my head around it to be honest, it still doesn't seem real.
"I'm just so incredibly proud of him and everything he's done has just been amazing."
What will the money be used for?
The money raised by Tony will be used to help support children with similar complex needs across the region, ensuring they receive the best possible care.
Funds will be put towards making sure the environment where they receive care is made special, helping children and families to feel safe and happy, while also helping to fund research, new facilities and cutting-edge technology.
Staff at Evelina London offered huge congratulations to Tony on his incredible achievement, hailing him “a true inspiration”.
Cat Flanagan, one of Tony's nurses at Evelina Hospital, said: "Ever since he was a very little boy he has captured all of us in his heart.
"His achievement is amazing just from a personal point of view, his walking is so much improved.
"Now he's walking so well and just the achievement for the hospital is incredible."
How can I donate?
If you wish to support Tony’s fundraiser, you can make a donation by visiting justgiving.com.